Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid

Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but years of bad habits can lead to dental damage. Here are some habits that can negatively affect your oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is one of the least healthy habits for your teeth. Many children bite their nails during childhood. However, many adults continue to bite their nails into their adulthood. The habit is usually subconscious. While it may not damage the teeth immediately, it can lead to other complications such as enamel wear, infection, and bleeding gums. Regular dental appointments can also spot the early signs of gum disease and help to treat it before it leads to more serious damage.

If you suffer from chronic nail biting, it is important to seek professional help. Dentists can help you break the habit of nail biting. They can also provide behavioral therapy to help individuals recognize their harmful habits and learn to break them.

  • Smoking

When a mouth is exposed to smoke frequently, it can discolor teeth and stain the enamel. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes can stick to your teeth and cause yellowing over time. It can be quite difficult for smokers to restore their smile after it has been damaged by years of tobacco use. If you are a smoker and want to quit, talk to your general dentist today about available treatments that can help you kick this habit.

Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Your oral health can be put at risk if you brush too vigorously or with too much force. If you brush your teeth too hard or use too much pressure, it can cause your gums to bleed and recede away from your teeth. Over time, this can cause tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss if the problem persists for too long. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a circular motion to remove plaque and food from your teeth. Avoid pressing too hard or using a sawing motion, as it may irritate the gums. Also, change your toothbrush every three to four months to ensure that it is doing its job effectively.

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can lead to headaches and jaw pain due to tension, wear on teeth, and damage to tooth enamel. The condition affects up to ten percent of the adult population. Studies have found links between nighttime clenching/grinding and obstructive sleep apnea. Most patients do not realize they grind or clench their teeth until they have a dentist diagnose it during an examination. To help manage this habit, dentists recommend wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent grinding. Some patients benefit from relaxation techniques and exercises to reduce muscle tension in the face, neck, and head before sleep. Reducing stress through meditation and other relaxation techniques can also help.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

People who use their teeth to open packaging or remove tags from clothing are more likely to have chipped or cracked teeth than others. If you have the habit of using teeth as tools, stop it and use appropriate tools instead. 

To learn more about our dental procedures, schedule an appointment with Bergeron Dental by calling us at (907) 456-5600 or visiting our dental office located at 3112 Airport Way, Suite 2, Fairbanks, AK 99709.

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