Bad Habits That Affect Oral Health

Bad Habits That Affect Oral Health

Posted by Dr. Abeyta on Sep 15 2009, 01:31 PM

A Lack of Regular Dental Checkups

Many patients assume that if they brush and floss their teeth regularly, they are taking care of their oral health. However, regular dental checkups and cleanings help prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. This is a routine checkup, and your dentist will examine your teeth for signs of decay and gum disease.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

Biting your nails, chewing on pens, and chewing on ice or hard candy can all cause chips and fractures to the enamel on your teeth. These fractures can expose dentin, a yellowish tissue. Once dentin is exposed, it becomes susceptible to cavities.

Using Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco like chewing tobacco and snuff can cause your teeth to become discolored and stained. It can also increase your risk of oral cancer. Quitting can help reverse some of the damage.

Quitting smoking is a better choice for your health. Studies show that people who quit smoking cut their risk of oral cancer in half.

Grinding Your Teeth

Most people grind their teeth from time to time, but chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) can lead to a number of oral health issues, including worn or damaged teeth. Chronic teeth grinding can also put excessive pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can result in jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms.

Not Brushing Your Teeth Enough

When it comes to your oral health, it is important to practice healthy habits every day. Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes is recommended. However, if you’re like most people, you might occasionally skip brushing. While skipping brushing your teeth every once in a while isn’t the end of the world, it does put you at a higher risk for oral health problems.

Sucking Your Thumb

Thumb sucking is common among children, as it’s a comforting habit that helps them to fall asleep. However, once the habit continues into young adulthood, it can have negative consequences. Most children stop thumb sucking on their own, but if your child continues to need their thumb for comfort, you may want to bring them in for an evaluation.

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