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The Surprising Habits That Could Be Harming Your Oral Health

Oral health poor habit

When it comes to maintaining good oral health, most people know the basics — brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly. However, there are habits that we may not even realize are damaging our teeth. In this blog post, we will discuss some surprising habits that could harm your teeth and how to avoid them.

Not Using the Right Toothbrush and Brushing Techniques

Believe it or not, something as simple as using the wrong toothbrush or an incorrect brushing technique can significantly impact your oral health. Using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard can cause damage to your tooth enamel and gums. On the other hand, using a toothbrush with bristles that are too soft may not effectively remove plaque and food particles.

To prevent damage to your teeth, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and replacing it every three to four months is recommended. Additionally, be mindful of your brushing technique. Brushing too hard or with a back-and-forth motion can erode your enamel and irritate your gums. Instead, use gentle circular motions to remove plaque and debris from your teeth.

Nail Biting and Chewing on Objects

Nail biting and chewing on pens and pencils may seem harmless, but they can cause serious damage to your teeth. These habits put excessive pressure on your teeth and can lead to chipping, cracking, or even breaking your teeth. Not only can this be painful, but it can also require expensive dental treatments to fix.

To break this habit, keep your nails trimmed and avoid biting on or chewing on objects. If you are prone to these habits when feeling anxious or stressed, find healthier ways to cope, such as deep breathing or squeezing a stress ball.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

We have all been guilty of using our teeth to open a stubborn package or to rip off a tag. However, using your teeth as tools can cause damage to your teeth and jaw. Your teeth are designed for biting and chewing food, not for opening bottles or tearing objects. Doing so can result in cracked or broken teeth or even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Always have proper tools and avoid using your teeth as a substitute. If you find yourself using your teeth out of habit, try to consciously remind yourself to stop and grab a proper tool instead.

Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common habit that can lead to serious damage to your teeth. Many people grind their teeth unknowingly, usually while sleeping. This can wear down your teeth and cause fractures, tooth sensitivity, and jaw pain.

Talk to your dentist if you suspect you are grinding or clenching your teeth. They may recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth while sleeping or suggest stress-reducing techniques to help alleviate the habit.

Drastically Changing Your Diet

A healthy diet plays a crucial role in maintaining good oral health. However, drastic changes to your diet, especially when it comes to acidic or sugary foods and drinks, can cause enamel erosion and tooth decay. Consuming too much citrus fruits, soda, or candy can weaken and damage your teeth over time.

Instead, strive for a balanced diet and limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods. If you consume these foods and drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterward to help mitigate the damage.

Skipping Dental Visits

Skipping regular dental check-ups can lead to serious dental problems. Your dentist is trained to identify and treat early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. By skipping these appointments, you may miss out on preventive care that can save you from costly and invasive procedures down the road.

Good oral health is vital to our overall well-being. By avoiding these habits and practicing proper oral hygiene and care, we can maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime.

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About the Author: Robert T. Ogden, D.D.S.

Dr. Robert T. Ogden D.D.S. is an independent orthodontist serving Central Florida since 1994, and is proud to be the affordable option for local families who want straight teeth that lead to perfect smiles, all backed by a kind and friendly staff that instantly makes you feel at home. We take the time to explain all of your options, from In-Ovation C clear braces or SPEED System metal braces to clear aligners like Invisalign™. Plus, our state-of-the-art offices are designed to make your visit as fast and comfortable as possible. Schedule your free consultation today!

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