Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health Badly

Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health Badly

Good oral health is important not only for aesthetic reasons but also to maintain overall health. Good oral health means healthy teeth and gums, tongue, and cheeks. Keeping the mouth clean is the first step to maintaining good oral health. However, some of our daily habits can affect our oral health badly. Here are some of them.

  • Smoking 

Cigarettes and other tobacco products can stain the teeth and cause bad breath. Additionally, the tobacco in cigarettes can cause oral cancers to develop on the lips or gums. People who smoke are at a higher risk of developing gum disease as well. If you have the habit of smoking, the best thing you can do for your oral health is to quit the habit.

  • Nail biting

Nail biting is another bad habit that can potentially cause damage to your teeth. Biting the nails can lead to chips and cracks on the enamel of the teeth and irritate the soft tissue inside the mouth. It can also affect the appearance of the smile by creating jagged edges around the top row of teeth. Biting the nails can also increase the risk of developing infections in the gum tissue. However, the habit of nail biting may stem from anxiety or stress, so it is important to try and find a more permanent solution, such as behavioral therapies or prescription medication is often helpful in reducing stress levels and improving mental health.

  • Teeth grinding

Teeth grinding is usually caused by tension in the jaw muscles resulting from stress. Grinding the teeth can put stress on the temporomandibular joint, which can result in pain as well as headaches. Many people who grind their teeth at night might not be aware that they are doing so; therefore, bruxism is hard to prevent without help from your dentist. Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to wear while sleeping to prevent the teeth from touching. Mouth guards can be worn during the day as well for those who suffer from chronic bruxism.

  • Chewing ice

Chewing ice, especially over an extended period of time, can harm the enamel of your teeth. The increased temperature of ice causes the nerves in the teeth to become very active, resulting in damage to the enamel. Other hard foods can also be harmful to the teeth, but the strong structure of ice can even fracture a tooth.

  • Using teeth as tools

Teeth are not tools! It may seem like something minor, but using your pearly whites to tear open a package or cut a piece of string can wreak havoc on your smile. When you force your teeth to perform a task they’re not designed to complete, you increase your risk of chipped or broken teeth and worn enamel. This can also lead to the eventual loss of teeth if the problem becomes severe enough. A good rule of thumb is to only have your teeth perform tasks they were designed to do – eating and speaking.

  • Brushing the teeth hard

While brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended to maintain a healthy mouth and prevent gum disease and tooth decay, there are right ways and wrong ways to brush. Aggressive brushing can lead to receding gums and enamel wear over time. It can also irritate the soft tissues in the mouth and cause tooth sensitivity. So, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help decrease the risk of gum damage. Try to use short and gentle strokes when brushing your teeth. 

Wish to learn more tips on how to maintain good oral health? Call Dentures Plus at (408) 259-1200 or visit our dental office at 1697 Havana Drive, San Jose, CA 95122.