The tricky thing about habits is they become the norm rather than the exception often due to unconscious repetition. Breaking habits that have become harmful to your dental health requires vigilant thought and discipline, but the result can save uncomfortable and costly dental repairs.
- Biting fingernails – Anxious patients often report they bite their nails due to boredom. But if you do a little research you might think twice before you ever bite your nails again. The germs on your hands and under your nails are now in your mouth. In addition to this unpleasant thought, the biting process can cause dental decay and gum disease, not to mention the damage done to your nail bed.
- Chewing and biting on ice, pens or pencils – Although teeth are generally very strong, repetitious biting on hard objects can result in cracks and breaking of teeth. Dental crowns, and possibly a root canal can be in your future thanks to this habit.
- Smoking or tobacco use – Periodontal disease and lost teeth are two good reasons to give up this habit.
- Sugary beverages and snacks – Exposing teeth to excess sugar throughout the day encourage plaque to build up on teeth and gums. This habit can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Teeth grinding and clenching – Often done during the night, this habit can be due to anxiety or an abnormal bite. A mouth guard fitted by the dentist to wear during the night can help to reduce or eliminate this habit.
- Harsh brushing with a hard bristle tooth brush – Many people feel the more pressure they use when brushing, the more germs and plaque they remove. Patients who engage in this habit could be doing more harm than good as this can result in premature gum recession and abnormal wear on the teeth enamel.
- Using teeth as tools – Using teeth as a substitute for scissors, pliers or tools of any sort can lead to broken teeth or at the very least chipped enamel.
Good habits to develop do include daily flossing; brushing at least twice per day with a fluoridated tooth paste or gel; and seeing your dentist twice per year for a professional cleaning and exam. Eliminating harmful habits and developing good dental habits will be rewarded with healthy teeth and gums for many years.
For more tips and to schedule a consultation in Poteet TX, contact our experienced dental team at Brush Country Dental & Specialty Center.