Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by Stonegate Family Dentistry on Jan 3 2023, 08:29 PM

Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Many of us have certain bad habits which affect our health. Having an unhealthy diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to several oral problems. 

Bad habits can wreak havoc on your oral health, leading to a range of dental problems and complications. Here are some common bad habits to avoid:

Nail Biting

Nail biting often begins in childhood and is triggered by stress. Many children bite their nails out of habit without realizing they're doing it. It can become a daily or even hourly ritual. Not only is this bad for your appearance, but nail biting can cause damage to your teeth as well. Over time, the sustained pressure of chewing your nails can chip or crack teeth. Your Dentist in Murfreesboro TN has solutions to fix any damage caused by nail-biting. These could include fillings, crowns, implants, and more. This damage can also affect your smile's alignment, which can require a mouth guard to correct.

Another major problem with nail biting is that it can lead to infections in the gums. The bacteria from your dirty hands can enter your mouth through cuts and scratches on your fingernails. Once they're inside, they can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, causing other health problems. You may notice more headaches, sore throats, or cold symptoms when you bite your nails. Stay away from this bad habit to keep your health in check! Call us to learn more.

Using Teeth As Tools

Do you have the habit of using teeth as tools? Stop it right away, and follow these tips instead.

  • Use scissors instead of your teeth to trim your fingernails.
  • Avoid chewing ice. The hard ice can damage the enamel of your teeth and cause sensitivity.
  • Do not chew on pens, pencils, markers, or any other foreign objects. Chewing on these objects can cause damage to the grooves of the molars and the soft tissues of your mouth. If the object becomes lodged in the gums or between teeth, debris could be left behind and increase the risk of decay. 
  • Do not open bottle caps or packages using your teeth. Use bottle openers or scissors instead. 

Chewing Ice Cubes

Do you always find yourself chewing on ice whenever you are stressed? Well, try not to do that if you don't want to ruin your smile. Did you know that ice is harder than your enamel and can cause your teeth to crack or chip?

And if you have cracked or chipped teeth, you need restorative dentistry treatment right away. 

Smoking and Tobacco Use

Tobacco use, including smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, can stain teeth, increase the risk of gum disease, and contribute to oral cancer. Quitting tobacco is crucial for maintaining good oral health.

Frequent Snacking

While snacking in between meals isn't typically harmful to your health, it can often cause unwanted consequences. For example, if you eat snacks high in sugar or starch multiple times a day, it can increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities over time. This is because our mouths produce less saliva when we snack than when they are at rest. Saliva is a natural defense against oral bacteria that can erode our teeth and cause decay. So, the more you snack throughout the day, the more your risk increases.

If frequent snacking is unavoidable, consider drinking water after you eat to rinse food particles off your teeth. Drinking water also helps increase the production of saliva in your mouth, so it can help neutralize acids that can eat away at your teeth. 

Thumb Sucking

While pacifier use is very common in babies and infants, some children continue to suck their thumbs past toddlerhood. This can cause the teeth to shift out of place and require orthodontic intervention to correct. If your child continues sucking his or her thumb past the age of four, talk to our Dentist in 37129 about a possible solution, like a mouth guard or headgear to keep the teeth from shifting.

Additionally, if your child is suffering from the effects of thumb sucking due to misalignment of the teeth, restorative dental treatments like crowns, bridges, or braces may be needed to correct the issue.

Teeth Grinding

Cracked or chipped teeth are a common problem among patients who suffer from bruxism – the clenching or grinding of their teeth while asleep. If you have a problem with excessive tooth grinding, visit your dentist to discuss potential treatment options, including a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep at night, as well as relaxation techniques to help you stop grinding your teeth throughout the day.

Brushing Too Hard

Some patients use harsh brushing techniques or brush too aggressively in an attempt to remove more plaque and bacteria from their teeth. While this approach may seem logical, it could actually do more harm than good. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush as you brush your teeth. This will keep your gum tissue safe from the abrasive bristles of the toothbrush. You should also avoid putting too much pressure when brushing your teeth. Too much pressure can damage the gums and cause gum recession.

Skipping Dental Check-Ups

Avoiding regular dental check-ups and cleanings can allow dental problems to progress unchecked. Routine dental visits are essential for early detection and prevention of oral health issues.

To learn more about maintaining good oral health, call Stonegate Family Dentistry at (615) 624-6919 to book an appointment. You can also visit us at 206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.

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