Taking good care of your teeth requires a fairly simple maintenance routine: brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist regularly. If you’re consistent with these simple steps, you should be able to catch and address any potential problems before they become major complications.
But…there are some habits many of us do without thinking that put our teeth at risk. Take a look at the following 8 bad dental habits – and then challenge yourself to break as many of these habits as you can. Your teeth will thank you.
Bad dental habit #1: Hard brushing
Vigorous brushing can wear down your tooth enamel, irritate your gums, and cause tooth sensitivity. You don’t have to scrub when you brush your teeth. Contrary to what you may believe, massaging your teeth gently with a soft-bristled brush is enough to get them clean.
Bad dental habit #2: Ice crunching
Chewing ice can cause major damage to your teeth. It may be fun to crunch ice, but it’s not worth the risk of breaking a tooth. If you’re having a hard time breaking the habit, try reusable ice cubes to chill your drink. The bonus is that they won’t water it down.
Bad dental habit #3: Soda drinking
The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and make acids. Those acids damage your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. When you add the sugar, acids, and carbonation from soda, you’re at an even higher risk for cavities. If you must have a soda, always follow up with water to help neutralize the effect of the acids.
Bad dental habit #4: Package opening
When there are no scissors handy, we know it’s tempting to use your teeth to rip open a bag of chips or tear off a tag, but using your teeth as a tool means risking damage of your dental work or cracking a tooth. In the long run, you’re better off going to find the scissors.
Bad dental habit #5: Pencil chewing
You may think you’re lightly biting on your pencil, but those teeth marks on the pencil suggest more pressure than you may be aware of. And putting that kind of pressure on your teeth could cause them to shift or crack. Chewing sugarless gum has much less risk involved, and it can even help reduce the risk of cavities.
Bad dental habit #6: Nail biting
Chronic nail biters tend to protrude their jaws often enough to cause jaw dysfunction. The habit can also lead to chipped teeth and splintered tooth enamel.
Bad dental habit #7: Jaw clenching
Stress can make some people clench down on their jaws, causing microfractures in their teeth and potentially damaging dental work. If you regularly notice pain or tenderness in your jaw, it may be the result of jaw clenching or tooth grinding while you sleep. Try relaxing your jaw whenever you notice it’s clenched. And get fitted for mouth guard to wear at night if necessary.
Bad dental habit #8: Thumb sucking
Believe it or not, we’ve had to help wean some adults off of thumb sucking. It’s best to address the problem in children before it causes permanent changes that affect their tooth and jaw structure and results in problems due to the misalignment of teeth.
Come see us!
At Soft Touch Dental in San Diego, we want to help you keep your smile beautiful and your teeth healthy for as long as possible. Come on into our office, and we’ll examine your teeth, address any issues or damage, and provide you with suggestions for breaking the habits that put your dental health at risk. Dr. Fakhimi is highly skilled and has a gentle touch, so you can rest assured that you’re in excellent care. And if you’re anxious about any of the procedures that Dr. Fakhimi recommends, we offer sedation dentistry as well.
At Soft Touch Dental, we want you to feel comfortable and well cared for, and we trust that you will when you come to us for your dental care.
Give us a call to schedule a consultation or an appointment today.