Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by Dr. Lee on Jan 2 2023, 09:16 PM

Oral health is an important part of our everyday life. A healthy mouth will not only improve our appearance but also the quality of our life. There are some bad habits that can negatively impact our oral health. Listed below are some of these.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting can be a bad habit that commonly starts in childhood and can continue into adulthood. Nail biting can cause a multitude of oral health issues over time, so it's important to get a handle on the habit as soon as possible. Can't kick your nail-biting habit? Try using bitter-tasting nail polish over your regular polish. These types of polishes are designed to cause you to feel uncomfortable if you continue biting your nails. Over time, you may notice yourself breaking the bad habit. However, if you're already experiencing some of the side effects, consult with your dentist to discuss treatment options and repair any damage that's been done.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Some people use their teeth as tools to open packages or cut things open. This can be harmful to your teeth, and we recommend using scissors instead. Using teeth as tools can cause chips and other damage to the teeth.

  • Chewing Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are harmless when they are consumed, but chewing on them can harm our teeth. This is because biting down on hard ice can cause cracks or chips in our teeth. If tooth enamel is cracked, bacteria can enter and infect the tooth's pulp tissue, leading to severe cases of dental problems. Furthermore, ice cubes may sometimes chip the teeth' enamel by compressing it against another object, such as a molar. This could result in an actual fracture as well.

So the next time we have an ice craving, it's best to forego the ice cube and reach for a cold glass of water instead. Not only will water quench your thirst more effectively than a piece of ice, but it will save your teeth from unnecessary harm as well.

  • Frequent Snacking

Eating throughout the day can be detrimental to your oral health. Snacks between meals, although convenient, can cause tooth decay, and it doesn't take long for the bacteria in your mouth to start attacking your enamel. If you must snack regularly, choose healthy options like vegetables or cheese that don't have added sugar and are less likely to stick to your teeth. If you do eat something sugary, be sure to brush your teeth shortly after and try to limit snacks to mealtimes.

  • Thumb Sucking

While sucking on a thumb or pacifier is soothing, and infants often use these tools to soothe themselves, it can cause problems if done for too long. Thumb sucking can cause your child to develop an overbite or underbite, as well as problems with the development of their jaw. It can also change the way the permanent teeth come in and lead to speech problems and biting issues. If your child is still sucking their thumb past the age of three, it's best to have them evaluated. The dentist may recommend using a mouth appliance to help break the habit and encourage proper jaw development.

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is a common bad habit, but it can also be a warning sign of a larger issue. When a patient is suffering from a stressful situation or a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, they will often grind their teeth while they sleep without even realizing it. The effects of teeth grinding include jaw pain, headaches, and tooth damage. If your dentist has diagnosed you with this condition, they may be able to fit you with a mouth guard or night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. In some cases, if the condition is caused by stress, anxiety management techniques and other lifestyle changes can help to relieve symptoms.

  • Brushing Too Hard

Although it may seem logical to brush harder to remove bacteria and plaque, brushing too hard can actually harm your teeth and gum tissue by wearing away the enamel and causing your gums to become inflamed.

If you feel any pain or discomfort when brushing or flossing, try to lighten up a bit to avoid causing damage that will need to be fixed later on. Your teeth will thank you for it later!

Schedule an appointment with Del Mar Family Dental Care and Orthodontics for the most comfortable dental care. Walk into 797 Peoria St. Unit A, Aurora, CO 80011. Contact us at (303) 577-0062 or visit our website to book an appointment with us. 

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797 Peoria St. Unit A, Aurora, CO 80011

Phone: (303) 577-0062

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