Bad Habits That Can Hurt Your Smile

Bad Habits That Can Hurt Your Smile

Posted by Columbia View Dental on Dec 13 2022, 11:37 PM

Bad habits are something that everyone has. Whether it’s biting your nails or cracking your knuckles, everyone has a bad habit or two. But did you know that some of these bad habits are bad for your oral health? Listed below are a few habits that can hurt your smile.

  • Nail biting

A habit for many children and some adults is nail-biting, and it can cause a lot of damage to our teeth and oral health. Constantly chewing on your nails can cause your teeth to shift out of alignment as the roots are exposed to excessive pressure. By constantly chewing on your nails, you can severely damage your enamel and increase your chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Your nails can also wear down over time, causing chips and cracks in your teeth. It is best to avoid this bad habit altogether. If you catch yourself biting your nails, try keeping your hands busy by reading a book or doing another task to keep your mind occupied. 

  • Using your teeth as a tool

Teeth are meant to only be used for chewing and biting food, not for anything else! Although there are many tools that have been created to help users accomplish different tasks quickly and efficiently, teeth should not be one of them. Using them as tools can cause them to crack or chip, leaving you with a weakened tooth that can decay. This could mean needing to get a filling or dental crown.

For example, using your teeth as a bottle opener can crack a tooth. This is because the force exerted by the bottle on the teeth is stronger than the enamel strength of your tooth. It’s important that you avoid using your teeth as tools in order to prevent damage to your smile.

  • Not flossing regularly

Although many of us know that brushing our teeth is important for oral health, it’s easy to ignore flossing or skip it from time to time. Unfortunately, not flossing can lead to cavities and gum disease over time. Flossing every day is an important step to keeping your teeth healthy and clean. Even if you’re unable to brush after a meal, make sure to at least floss once a day.

If you’re not used to flossing, or you don’t do it as often as you should, ask your dentist about different tools and methods that can improve your oral care routine overall.

  • Smoking

Cigarette smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your oral health. Not only does tobacco use increase your risk of oral cancer, gum disease, and stained teeth, but it can also lead to a host of other health issues like heart disease and cancer. Tobacco products can cause bad breath and dry mouth, which can cause cavities. It can also cause your gums to become swollen or discolored from constant exposure to nicotine and tar. If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for your oral health is to quit smoking as soon as possible. Talk to your dentist about quitting today.

  • Brushing teeth aggressively

Yes, some people use too much pressure when brushing their teeth. This could cause gum recession and tooth sensitivity. Hard bristles can also physically scrub away your teeth’s enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to cavities and other oral diseases. If you brush too hard, your dentin will be exposed, causing pain and discomfort. If your teeth are sensitive, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth.

  • Teeth grinding and clenching

Teeth grinding and clenching at night are habits that can cause severe damage to your teeth. These actions can cause wear of the tooth enamel. Over time, this can lead to the wearing down of your tooth surface and eventually to tooth loss. Other problems include muscle soreness and pain in your jaw joints. Over a period of time, this can even lead to a condition called TMD (temporomandibular disorder) which can result in headaches, earaches, and more. Regularly scheduled visits with your dentist can help prevent these issues. We can create a custom night guard for your teeth to protect them from damage while you sleep.

Columbia View Dental is dedicated to providing you with safe, effective, and quality treatment. Contact our best dentist in The Dalles, OR, today at (541)296-5677 to learn more about our dental treatments. Get all your questions answered at Columbia View Dental, 1915 E 19th St, The Dalles, OR, 97058.

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