Bad habits can easily become part of who we are, but they can also really hurt us. When our bad habits affect our oral health, the results can be painful for our mouths and our wallets. Here is a list of the worst habits that can harm your mouth and should be avoided as much as possible.
Smoking is one of the most destructive habits, as it not only causes discoloration of the teeth and bad breath, but can result in loss of bone density in the jaw, inflamed salivary glands, as well as gum disease, and oral cancer.
Children who suck their thumbs are constantly placing pressure on their mouths and run the risk of misaligning their new adult teeth and even causing deformities in the roof of the mouth.
Brushing Too Hard
Vigorous brushing can irritate gums, which can cause them to recede, and can erode tooth enamel. Signs of aggressive brushing are if your toothbrush bristles are splayed and worn down. Bristles should only lightly brush against teeth and gums without causing redness.
Clenching and Grinding
Teeth grinding can erode enamel and can leave teeth exposed to decay. Jaw clenching can cause issues such as pain and discomfort that can lead to lockjaw and cracked and chipped teeth.
Our teeth are not designed for crunching ice and doing so can cause teeth to crack or chip. Grinding ice against teeth can cause your teeth to crack and chip, as well as damage the tooth enamel. Wearing down your tooth enamel leaves your teeth more susceptible to decay and it can increase their temperature sensitivity.
Using Teeth as Tools
Using your teeth to open containers, cut clothing tags, and rip through packages can result in cracks and chips, which can leave teeth exposed and unprotected against tooth decay.
Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails can damage your teeth and any past dental work, as well as expose your mouth to the bacteria that lives under nails, increasing your chances of illness and infection. Nail biting could also result in a chipped or cracked tooth.
High Sugar Consumption
Constantly exposing your teeth to destructive sugars, such as those found in carbonated drinks, feeds harmful bacteria and causes plaque to be produced at a much quicker rate in the mouth. Without proper dental hygiene, this plaque then turns into difficult to remove tartar, which can cause tooth and gum decay.
Biting and Chewing Foreign Objects
Food should be the only thing you hold in your mouth. Chewing on pencils or biting the arms of your reading glasses can damage past dental work and crack or chip your teeth. Constantly doing this can wear down teeth and make them more susceptible to damage and decay.
Replacing missing or broken teeth is expensive and stressful, so if you listen to these tips, follow them every day, and take your dentist’s advice you’ll be happier for it in the long run and have a healthy mouth and smile.