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Avoid These Habits to Protect Your Oral Health

Posted by Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry Dec 06, 2022

Taking care of ourselves is not just about eating healthy food and exercising. Our oral and dental health is very important too. Maintaining proper hygiene habits is important to keep our teeth healthy. It is not just about brushing twice a day but about keeping certain bad habits in check. Here are some bad habits to be avoided for good oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a habit that is mostly done unconsciously, and over time, it can be bad for your teeth. This habit can result in gum disease as well as tooth damage such as chipping, fracturing, or even tooth loss. The mouth can also be harmed by nail biting when germs from the nails enter the mouth. This can lead to infection of the mouth and gums. So, quit the habit at the earliest.

  • Smoking

When you smoke cigarettes, you are exposing yourself to more than 4,000 chemicals that affect every part of your body. Even if you’re only smoking a few cigarettes each day, you are still increasing your risk for oral cancer and gum disease. The nicotine in cigarettes can weaken your immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections like inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or periodontitis. Over time, this can increase the risk of tooth loss and the deterioration of your jawbone.

In addition, the tar and chemicals that are inhaled when smoking cigarettes can cause discoloration of your teeth, making them look yellowed or even brown. These same chemicals can also stain fillings and crowns, so they are not a match for the color of the rest of your teeth.

If you smoke, your dentist can help you quit in a number of ways. First, the dentist can let you know about the specific effects smoking can have on your oral health, which may help you recognize how damaging it is to you. Second, your dentist may be able to prescribe medications that can help you quit smoking. If you are anxious about quitting smoking, you may also benefit from talking to a therapist about your anxieties about quitting smoking.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Many people brush their teeth too aggressively, and this can erode the enamel on the teeth. Enamel is the protective layer that covers the teeth, and it helps protect them from decay and damage. Once enamel is worn away, teeth are at an increased risk of developing cavities and other dental problems. To prevent yourself from brushing your teeth too vigorously, set a timer on your phone or watch when you are brushing your teeth. It should take about two minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly. Make sure you also replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles on your toothbrush are frayed or flattened out, it is time to get a new toothbrush soon. Also, make sure you use soft-bristled toothbrushes as they are gentler on teeth and gums. Replace your toothpaste every three months as well. Make sure it is ADA approved and safe for use. Toothpaste that contains fluoride can help to strengthen tooth enamel and make your smile more resistant to tooth decay. 

  • Teeth Grinding

When we grind our teeth, we are putting unnecessary pressure on our teeth and jaws, which can eventually wear down tooth enamel and chip or crack the teeth. Night guards are a simple, non-invasive solution for preventing damage caused by teeth grinding. Another option is Botox injections to relax the muscles in the jaw, preventing bruxism in the first place.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

People use their teeth for many different tasks, like opening plastic packaging or tearing something apart. It is typically not a good idea to use your teeth for that because the risk of damaging them is high. To prevent this from happening, you should only use your teeth for eating, chewing, and talking. You should also avoid keeping any objects in your mouth that can damage your enamel. If you notice signs of damage, such as weakened enamel, consult with your dentist as soon as you can. Don’t wait until the problem becomes worse. Your dentist will be able to repair the damage with advanced treatments such as a dental crown.

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

Many people fear seeing a dentist because they associate the dentist with pain. But if you don’t visit your dentist for regular check-ups, you could develop serious issues that require serious treatment. Dental cleanings help prevent issues such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, and plaque buildup. So even if you’re afraid of the dentist, you should visit them at least twice a year to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

At Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry, we offer a full range of services, including cosmetic dentistry in a relaxed dental environment. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule your consultation with one of our dentists, call us at 605-371-3443 or visit us at 4921 E. 26th St., Suite 1, Sioux Falls, SD 57110. 

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