Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may not be taking care of your teeth as well as you could be. Although it’s recommended you have a dental exam twice a year, there are bad habits that could be harming your overall oral health. Here are five bad habits that can harm your teeth even if the rest of your dental care is stellar.
Opening Things With Your Teeth
Your teeth evolved to help you chew your food, not to open packages. Modern product packaging is often difficult to open, but grab the scissors if you’re struggling. Using your teeth may seem convenient at the time but can turn problematic quickly if you chip or crack a tooth. You could also injure your jaw.
Whether you smoke it or chew it, tobacco can have devastating effects on oral health. Tobacco reduces the amount of blood flow in your gums, potentially damaging the tissue and creating periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, in turn, can eat away at your jaw bone and allow your teeth to fall out. Tobacco also decreases the amount of saliva in your mouth, increasing your risk of cavities.
Chewing Random Objects
Absent-mindedly biting your nails, chewing on your pen cap or munching ice cubes can all lead to chipped or damaged teeth. Chewing on these items can also force your jaw into odd positions that can cause problems later. If you chew on ice, try to break the habit. Avoid putting anything other than food into your mouth.
Although common in small children, it’s important that children stop sucking their thumb or fingers at the age of five. Children who frequently place their thumb or fingers inside their mouth can apply enough force to shift their teeth. Misaligned teeth can cause bite problems, jaw pain and headaches. Once moved out of position, teeth won’t realign themselves. Instead, your child could require braces or even surgery to correct the problem.
Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth or clenching them firmly together is a bad habit you may not know you have. Grinding your teeth can wear them down, loosen them or break them. It can also cause TMJ. Unfortunately, most people grind their teeth in their sleep and may not know that they do so. If you or your partner have noticed that you grind your teeth at night, see your dentist. He can help you find ways to stop grinding your teeth and fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth in the meantime.
These five habits can negatively impact your dental health. Bad habits are often hard to break, however, so get help if you need to. Your family doctor and dentist will both be happy to help you replace bad habits with healthier ones. If you’re in need of dental help or advice, visit our dentists in River West today.
Have A Dental Emergency?
American Dental is taking emergency dental patients during this difficult time. If you have pain in your mouth that required immediate attention, contact us!
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