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Bad Habits that Damage Teeth and Gums

Simple Habits that are Ruining Your Teeth

Many people tend to disregard good dental habits until they feel pain in their mouths. On the other hand, some have habits that result in damaged teeth, swollen gums and other dental issues. Others even ignore dental injuries until it hurts, by this time, the worst may happen.

So, what habits are bad for your oral health?

10 Simple Habits that Can Ruin Your Teeth

1.    Smoking

Studies show that smoking tobacco products is not just bad for your teeth but also your entire body. Besides staining teeth, smoking can lead to gum disease, periodontal infection, premature tooth loss and oral cancer.

Smoking can also cause dry mouth since it reduces saliva production, resulting in bad breath. It can also affect other body organs, including the lungs, heart, brain and blood vessels.

Smoking Bad Habits

2.    Nail Biting

People have different ways of relieving stress; one is biting their nails. However, this simple habit can cause many issues to your dental condition, such as a chipped or broken tooth. Sometimes, nail biting can also increase the germs and bacteria in your mouth that accumulate from under your nails.

Some effective ways to prevent this include applying bitter melon juice on your nails before your day starts or taking meditation sessions to alleviate your anxiety.

3.    Sleeping Without Brushing

Life can get too busy and exhausting, so the next thing you’d probably do when you get home is to go straight to bed. However, bacteria can thrive and multiply if you do not brush before sleep, making your teeth, gums and tongue vulnerable to oral diseases.

When you sleep, your mouth produces less saliva, causing a dry mouth, increasing the number of bacteria and transforming plaque to tartar. More is needed to brush in the daytime. Dental experts highly recommend brushing your teeth before going to bed.

4.    Too Much Night Snacking

Eating while enjoying your favourite book or television show is fun and relaxing, but binge eating at night can cause damage to your mouth. Not only can too much night snacking lead to cavities, but it may also affect your overall health or lead to eating disorders.

Too Much Night Snacking

5.    Biting or Sucking Lemons

Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are high in citric acid, which can soften and damage the teeth’s outer layer, exposing them to vulnerability. The high levels of acidity can weaken teeth and cause gums to bleed. While eating citrus fruits is a good boost of vitamin C to the body, too much of it can also lead to unwanted health issues.

6.    Brushing Rigorously

If you think brushing rigorously or with hard bristles is good, think again. This dental habit can damage the teeth’ enamel and the gums’ soft tissues. When this happens, your mouth structures are susceptible to diseases, pain or sensitivity to cold and tooth structure loss.

Remember to use soft-bristled toothbrushes and stroke the brush gently with up-and-down or in a circular motion. And brush your teeth for about two minutes at least twice a day. Imagine it as a massage rather than brushing your teeth like a scrub.

An electric toothbrush may be recommended by the dentist. If so, select the soft bristles.

7.    Chewing Ice

It feels good chewing on ice after finishing a refreshing glass of lemonade, especially on a hot summer afternoon. However, this habit can easily harm the teeth or cause vulnerability to the gums. It can also lead to tooth sensitivity or damaged dental filling.

If you want a cold pick-me-up beverage, go for a smoothie or crushed ice. Drink with a straw if you please, or stop chewing ice altogether.

8.    Using Your Teeth as Swiss Knife

Your teeth are specifically designed to chew, bite or munch on food. They are not a set of tools that you can use to open a bag of chips and a soda bottle or to remove tags and labels. Doing all these can result in dental fractures, swollen gums and lips or tooth loss. Better use the right tools tailored for the job. 

9.    Drinking Coffee a Lot

Coffee and other dark-coloured beverages can stain teeth leading to yellow teeth over time. Most of these drinks also contain high levels of acidity that can cause the weakening of your mouth structures. While this simple must-have habit can come in handy when you need some energy boost, it also helps to follow it up with brushing your teeth.

10.         Teeth Clenching

When stressed, do you tend to clench or grind your teeth?

Sadly, this habit can cause significant damage to your tooth while exposing your dentin and, worst, the pulp. When this happens, your teeth become sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks or extreme temperatures.

If you grind your teeth at night, you can ask your dentist to prescribe a customised nightguard, also called a “splint.”  You can also try stress relief exercises or meditation to lower your anxiety level.

Teeth Clenching

You may consult your South Morang dentist to learn more about improving these habits before leading to serious dental problems.

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