Good oral health habits are an essential part of maintaining good oral health. However, there are certain bad dental habits that can wreak havoc on our oral health.
Nail biting is one of the most common bad habits that can affect the health of your smile. Nail biting is a compulsive habit that can cause cosmetic damage by wearing down the teeth or causing teeth to shift. This can also put people at a higher risk for tooth decay and TMJ disorder.
Luckily, many people are able to break this habit with as little discomfort as possible. If you have noticed that nail biting is getting out of hand for you or your child, it may be time for a consultation with your dentist. This allows us to help you break the habit for good. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Using Teeth As Tools
If you’re using your teeth to bite into objects or open packages, you’re putting your teeth at risk. Although teeth are incredibly strong, they aren’t indestructible, and using them to damage other objects can cause severe damage to your mouth. These habits can damage the protective layer of enamel that protects your teeth. In addition to taking away from the strength of your smile, these habits can also lead to even chipped or broken teeth. If you want to stop damaging your teeth but feel unable to break the habit, talk to your dentist about ways to break the habit.
Biting and Chewing Foreign Objects
When you think about mouth-related injuries and diseases, you may only think about things like gum disease and tooth decay. However, even small objects like toothpicks or fingernails have the potential to cause a lot of damage to the mouth, including chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth. Not only are these objects hard on our teeth, but they’re also dangerous for the inside of our mouths and can cause internal bleeding and even life-threatening infections. If you’re in the habit of chewing on foreign objects, it’s time to kick the habit.
Thumb sucking can cause issues with the alignment of teeth as well as cause conditions like TMJ disorder and malocclusion. Children usually stop doing this on their own between the ages of four and six. If you or your child continues to suck their thumb past this point, talk to your dentist about ways to break this habit that are safe.
Many people grind their teeth while they are sleeping and are not aware of it. If the habit is allowed to continue, the teeth can become worn and flat – causing them to become sensitive to temperature extremes. In severe cases, patients can experience headaches, damaged teeth and jaw muscles, and TMJ disorder pain.
One way to help break this bad habit is to use an anti-grinding mouthguard at night. These guards are custom-made by a dentist based on an impression of your teeth. The guard prevents the upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with each other to prevent grinding. That way, they can avoid damage to their teeth and also their jaw muscles while they sleep.
Brushing Too Hard
It’s a common belief that harder brushing is better for your teeth but this can be damaging to your teeth and gums over time. When you brush too aggressively, you risk wearing down the protective layer of enamel on your teeth and your gums. Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and the first line of defense against tooth decay. It’s crucial that you keep this layer intact so your smile stays healthy for a lifetime. You also run a risk of receding gums when you brush too hard because you could be irritating the sensitive gum tissues. Gum recession is a serious problem because it makes your teeth look longer and creates pockets where bacteria and plaque can hide. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle instead of pointing down toward the gum line. In addition, be sure you’re using fluoride toothpaste since it strengthens enamel and helps to prevent cavities from forming.
Get in touch with Red Rock Dental at 900 S Pavilion Center Dr #140, Las Vegas, NV 89144, or call (702) 243-8788 to schedule an appointment.