Harmful Dental Habits to Avoid

Denton dentalThere are many positive things we can do to care for our dental health, such as brush twice every day with a fluoridated tooth paste; floss daily to remove food debris your tooth brush missed; and visit your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and an examination to maintain an excellent level of dental health.

There are negative actions too … some more damaging than others. Some of the harmful habits that are avoidable include:
Neglect – Failure to comply with brushing, flossing, and keeping dental appointments. This leads to plaque build-up and the potential for developing decay and/or gum disease.

Tobacco Use – Smoking, chewing, or any type of tobacco use is detrimental to dental health. Many patients who use tobacco end up with periodontal disease leading to the possibility of tooth loss.

Using teeth improperly – Scissors open packages; bottle openers open beverage containers; and nail clippers are intended to keep fingernails trimmed. Using teeth to tear open packages or bottles; or biting fingernails/hangnails have the potential to break or chip teeth or destroy dental enamel.

Chewing Ice – Chewing ice is problematic to your dental health. Biting down on ice, rock candy, jaw breakers … any hard substance has the potential to damage teeth.

Chewing inanimate objects – Pens, pencils, hairpins … many things that appear in your hands can often end up in your mouth.

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching – This is a habit that often starts during periods of sleep. Stress and anxiety often manifest in the form of teeth grinding. If you awaken with pain in the neck, jaw, or head this might be afflicting you. Since this habit occurs subconsciously, your dentist might be proactive and recommend a night guard made specifically for you as an option that could bring relief.

Diet – Many people find themselves addicted to soda, sugary snacks, and unhealthy consumables. Both regular and diet soda contain acids that can eat away at your enamel. If you must drink soda, limit them to special occasions and use a straw to bypass teeth as much as possible. All carbonated drinks are highly acidic and many beverages touted as “healthy” are loaded with sugar. Read all labels carefully and make good decisions on the things you consume.

Become aware of the negatives concerning your dental health; employ positive actions to keep teeth and gums healthy for your lifetime. Contact Withers Dentistry at 940-293-2635 if you’re ready to schedule your next cleaning with our caring team!