6 Bad Habits That Could Harm Your Teeth

6 Bad Habits That Could Harm Your Teeth

Posted by Dr. Alicia Abeyta DDS FAGD on Dec 21 2022, 08:51 PM

Good oral health is necessary for maintaining overall health. Taking care of oral health involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, visiting your dentist on a regular basis, and eating a healthy diet. Some habits can negatively affect your oral health. Listed below are some of these bad habits.

  • Not brushing and flossing regularly

Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily is very important for oral health. Failing to brush and floss can lead to plaque and tartar buildup, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Flossing is especially essential because it helps to remove food and bacteria from between the teeth and below the gum line, where toothbrush bristles can't reach.

By failing to brush or floss, you're paving the way for the onset of several dental problems like cavities, gingivitis, and many other oral conditions. 

  • Nail biting

Biting your nails is a bad habit that can cause damage to your oral health. It can cause your teeth to become loose from the roots or fracture. If your nails are bitten frequently, it can cause your jaw muscles to get sore as well.

The best thing to do is to stop this bad habit. If you're having a hard time doing so, try distracting yourself. You can also try buying yourself some bitter-tasting nail polish to wear on your nails instead. This way, you can still have pretty nails without having to bite them. You can also ask your dentist about ways to help you stop biting your nails.

  • Smoking

Smoking damages our oral health in many ways. Tobacco usage and smoking are the major reasons for oral cancer. Smoking also increases the risk of developing gum disease such as gingivitis which can make your gums redden and bleed easily. When plaque is not removed from your teeth regularly, it hardens to form tartar which affects your gum health. Tobacco also reduces the production of saliva in the mouth, which is helpful in keeping the mouth clean and preventing irritation. It also breaks down the jaw bone, thus leading to tooth loss. The chemicals present in tobacco can cause discoloration of teeth and bad breath. Quitting smoking improves your oral health along with your overall health.

  • Brushing teeth aggressively

Brushing your teeth can be bad for your oral health if done too forcefully. It can cause receding gums, tooth enamel erosion, and even tooth loss. Some people brush their teeth so vigorously that they wear away the enamel or the outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body and protects the dentin, which is softer than bone and can decay easily. Once eroded, the dentin is exposed, which can lead to sensitivity and pain. Cavities can also occur when the enamel becomes weakened. Worn-down enamel has also been linked to tooth sensitivity. When you brush your teeth, do so gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be sure to use fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings to keep your oral health in tip-top shape!

  • Teeth grinding

Some people only grind their teeth while sleeping, while others grind their teeth throughout the day. Either way, this habit puts a lot of stress on your jaw joint, which could lead to TMD disorder or bruxism.

Teeth grinding can fracture your teeth. It also wears down tooth enamel and causes gum recession. Your teeth can become more sensitive as a result. Grinding can also wear down your enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. If you suffer from chronic headaches and neck pain, it could be caused by a misaligned bite related to teeth grinding. Chronic grinding can also cause facial pain and earaches. If you notice signs of teeth grinding, visit a dentist and get a night guard. 

  • Using teeth as tools

Some people use their teeth to open bottle caps or packages, tear off tags, crack nuts, and open bags. Although these actions may seem harmless, our teeth aren't made to withstand that kind of stress for a long period of time. We can put too much pressure on our teeth and cause chips and cracks or irritate the soft tissue inside the mouth. We can also damage our mouths if we bite down on hard objects like pens, pencils, ice cubes, etc. These objects can bend or break our teeth and cause us pain. We should refrain from chewing on ice, pens, and other objects that can damage a tooth. So, stop using your teeth as tools so we don't damage the teeth.

To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentist in Albuquerque, NM, call (505)-293-7611 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.

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