Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid

Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid

Posted by Larry Leonakis on Dec 7 2022, 11:22 PM

We all have our bad habits, some more harmful than others. Some of these habits can cause dental issues, such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Listed below are some of those bad oral habits that you should avoid.

  • Nail Biting

While some people only bite their nails in private, others grip those fingertips while talking or eating with others. It can be not only embarrassing but also unhealthy for your teeth. If you bite your nails, you may chip off pieces of enamel from the front teeth. This can create small grooves in the surface of the tooth, which makes it more likely for bacteria to build up in those spots and cause tooth decay. Biting nails can also create a bad bite pattern and lead to TMJ issues. And over time, the habit can cause the gums to become inflamed and recede. Luckily, there are easy ways to quit. Some people find it helpful to use nail polish to disguise any chips in their teeth so they’re not tempted to chew on them. Others simply wear gloves at night to keep their hands occupied.

  • Smoking

We may have warned you before about the dangers of using tobacco, but we’ll say it again: smoking compromises your oral health in multiple ways. Inhaling smoke dries out your mouth and limits your ability to fight off infection. Smoking can also cause gum recession and tooth stains. It can also increase your risk of developing gum disease or oral cancer.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Some people feel that if they brush their teeth hard and vigorously, they will prevent tooth decay in their teeth and gums. However, this is not true. In fact, brushing your teeth forcefully can cause significant damage to your teeth in the long run. It can even damage your gum line and cause bleeding gums.

We generally advise our patients to brush twice a day for two minutes, each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush. The toothpaste you use should be of good quality that contains fluoride. Using mouthwash is also good as it kills bacteria in your gums and prevents plaque from building up on your teeth.

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding or bruxism is a common habit that can lead to some serious oral health complications if left untreated. Some patients grind their teeth only during sleep, while others may do it when they are awake. The condition can affect anyone regardless of age and sex. If bruxism is left untreated, it can lead to severe damage to the jaw, chipped teeth, tooth loss, neck pain, and even headaches. This condition is also linked to sleep apnea, where the tongue falls back into the throat, blocking the airway. It is a condition that requires treatment as soon as possible. In most cases, the dentist recommends the use of a mouth guard to prevent further damage. Patients can also practice stress management exercises like yoga and deep breathing exercises to relax the body and avoid stress. 

  • Using Teeth As Tools

When you use your teeth as a tool, you’re putting your oral health at risk. The habit can chip or break your enamel. Besides, this habit can cause the teeth to crack or become misaligned. This can also cause damage to your smile and affect your bite. If you’re ever in an awkward situation that requires you to use your mouth to pry or crack something open, try using another tool instead. 

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

People who don’t visit a dentist regularly are at risk of developing severe oral health problems because small cavities and bleeding gums go untreated for a long time. Moreover, some patients avoid going to the dentist because they are afraid of dental procedures or because they can’t afford the treatment. Whatever the reason is, people should never avoid their dentist appointments – even if they are experiencing no pain at all. Dentists are trained to detect the earliest signs of tooth decay and other oral health issues. By doing so, they can diagnose the problem in its early stages and recommend appropriate treatment before the condition gets any worse. Regular checkups also allow dentists to keep track of a patient’s oral health over time as well. Patients who undergo professional cleanings every six months are more likely to have healthy teeth and gums than those who don’t have routine preventive dental care.

G. Larry Leonakis, DDS, provides regular checkups and treatments and provides patients with the information to make their best decisions. Visit us at 371 S Roop St, Carson City, NV 89701, contact us at (775) 882-0635 or visit our website https://www.drlarrydds.com for further information.

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