Are These Common Bad Habits Damaging Your Teeth?

Are These Common Bad Habits Damaging Your Teeth?

If you brush and floss each day, then you already have a wonderfully healthy habit. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad habits that can harm your teeth, gums, and general oral health. Use the following habit-breaking advice to stop the unhealthy behavior and get back on the path to a healthy smile.

Chewing on Ice and Biting Your Nails

These bad habits damage tooth enamel, wear down your teeth, and can lead to broken or chipped teeth and tooth decay.

Habit-Breaker: Replace ice or other objects with sugar-free chewing gum that’ll be safe for your teeth. If you bite your nails, paint on a colorless, foul-tasting nail polish designed to discourage the bad habit.

Using Tobacco

Tobacco stains teeth and damages the mouth’s soft tissues. Over time, it can cause oral cancer and other cancers throughout the body.

Habit-Breaker: Patches, gums, prescription medications, and even meditation can all help with smoking, vaping, and chewing tobacco cessation. Talk with your doctor about the best strategy for you.

Brushing Too Hard

It’s no surprise that many people think their teeth will be cleaner if they brush harder. Brushing hard, however, can actually damage your tooth enamel and your gums, leading to sensitivity, decay, and receding gums.

Habit-Breaker: Learn to brush softly by focusing on just one or two teeth at a time, using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Another great strategy is to invest in a high-quality electric toothbrush, which will thoroughly clean teeth by gently gliding across their surfaces.

Drinking Too Little Water

Our bodies have a built-in teeth-cleaning and bacteria-busting system – saliva. Drinking too little water and letting yourself become dehydrated will hinder your saliva production and dry out your mouth, leaving acid-producing bacteria free to break down tooth enamel.

Habit-Breaker: Stay hydrated by making sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day (more if you’re exercising, sweating, or spending time in the heat). Fill up a water bottle to have at your desk or set a timer to remind yourself. Remember if you wait until you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

Start a Healthy Dental Habit – Schedule Annual Checkups for Your Family

Along with brushing and flossing every day, one of the healthiest dental habits is to see a dentist for a professional cleaning and checkup at least once a year. To schedule appointments for your whole family, we welcome you to contact Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry. Dr. Mott can help you break your unhealthy dental habits and replace them with positive practices that’ll keep your teeth and gums healthy for life.