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Habits that can Damage Your Teeth

Damage Your Teeth

The teeth play a critical role in your physical appearance and bodily functions, making it necessary to take proper care of your oral health. Indulging in certain habits can cause significant damage to your teeth. Probably you have not given much thought to some of the habits you unconsciously do that could harm your teeth. This piece highlights some harmful oral habits you need to avoid to preserve your gums and teeth.

7 habits that harm your teeth

1. Nail-biting

Biting your nails may seem to be a harmless habit that only affects the appearance of your hands; however, that is not the case. Biting your nails can seriously damage your teeth in the long run. Nail-biting can bring about chipping, cracking, and wearing down of teeth.

Biting your nails places your jaws in an unnatural position and pushes your lower jaw out of line. This puts you at risk of developing temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

Besides that, nail-biting is likely to introduce bacteria in your mouth as your hands pick up a lot of dirt and bacteria from touching different items or surfaces. If you happen to have a cut in your mouth, placing your fingers in your mouth prompts the rise of an infection.

2. Grinding and clenching

Many people get into the habit of grinding and clenching their teeth whenever they are nervous and stressed, whereas others do it in their sleep. Teeth grinding and clenching is a subconscious reaction which you may hardly realize when you are doing it, and for this reason, it isn’t easy to control the habit.

Teeth grinding can take a toll on your teeth. The pressure applied when grinding your teeth can cause you to suffer microfractures or actual fractures in your teeth. Besides that, it can trigger jaw misalignment and severe muscle pain. But with the help of a dental surgeon, it is possible to realign your jaw to its normal position. Also, wearing a mouthguard can help you avoid some effects of teeth grinding and clenching.

3. Chewing on ice cubes

Biting down on ice cubes can wreak havoc onto your teeth. However, despite that fact, many people continue to enjoy chewing ice cubes ignorantly, not knowing the kind of harm they are causing to their teeth. You can easily break or chip your teeth when chewing ice cubes because your teeth are not designed to crush against things like ice cubes but are designed to crush through things.

Chewing ice cubes now and then irritates the soft tissues in your teeth; thus, one is likely to experience regular toothaches or develop tooth sensitivity. People with sensitive teeth suffer the most from embracing this habit. Chewing on ice causes them to experience sharp pains in their teeth.

4. Using toothpicks

Toothpicks are designed to pick foods stuck between your teeth. However, if they are not correctly used, they can be pretty damaging to your teeth. Be very cautious when using toothpicks in your quest to keep your mouth clean and free of particles.

Toothpicks have pointed ends that can easily scratch your gum tissue and give rise to infected gums or cause damage to your enamel.

Also, deeply poking the cracks of your teeth can result in the formation of gaps between your teeth or cause your teeth to shift. To avoid the disastrous effects of using toothpicks, using a dental cleaning tool or floss is advisable.

5. Brushing aggressively

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush will not get your teeth clean, nor will brushing aggressively. The brushing technique you use together with the kind of toothbrush you use determines the effectiveness of your brushing.

Pressing too hard on your teeth as you brush can scratch your gums and cause bleeding, and can trigger the rise of infections. One is likely to experience gum irritation, enamel loss, tooth sensitivity, root canal infection, and gum recession in due time.

By looking at your toothbrush, it is possible to tell whether you are brushing aggressively or not. Your toothbrush bristles appear flat and pushed back if you brush too hard. Always brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular manner.

If you check out this dentist in Los Angeles, they will also advise you to brush at a 45-degree angle so that you’re also cleaning your gums. 

6. Consuming sugar-rich foods/drinks

Eating sugary treats is not bad, but constant snacking on sugar-rich foods and drinks is considered bad for your teeth. Acid-producing bacteria feed on the sugar present in your mouth, producing acid which erodes your enamel resulting in tooth decay. The more prolonged sugar stays in your mouth, the more these acids are produced.

Snacks rich in sugars include candies, jellies, chocolate bars, desserts, and cakes, to name a few. On the other hand, carbonated drinks such as sodas and alcoholic beverages are highly acidic. Sipping on these drinks over a long period makes it even worse because it exposes the teeth to acidic conditions for an extended period.

The best way to avoid dental problems associated with sugary treats is by avoiding them as much as possible. Opt for healthy snacks such as fruits and drinks; opt for water, green tea, or black tea.

Also, Check – Staying Healthy: 7 Tips to Improve You

7. Avoiding dental checkup

People who neglect dental checkups are always at a risk of developing dental problems and severe health conditions such as oral cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, among other health issues. Most people only wait until they have a dental emergency to visit a dentist. Always make an effort to have a dental checkup every six months.

During your routine checkup, the dentist examines you for potential dental problems and cleans your teeth.

In a nutshell

As outlined above, various habits we indulge in do more harm than good to your teeth. It would help if you looked into ways to completely kick out these bad dental habits. Embracing good dental practices such as brushing and flossing daily, regular dental visits, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthy will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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