We all have habits, but not all habits are good ones. In fact, there may be some habits that you are doing every day that are wreaking havoc on your dental health. To ensure you aren’t caught off guard when tooth damage or discomfort occurs, here’s some insight from American Dental Association on which bad dental habits to avoid:
- Grinding Your Teeth
- The most common cause of teeth grinding is stress. Unfortunately, stress is all too common in today’s fast-paced society. Even worse, teeth grinding often gets going at night during your sleep, when you aren’t even aware of it. Over time, this habit may lead to chipped teeth, worn down teeth (or dental work), sore jaw, TMJ disorder and even tension headaches. Consider a mouth guard if you suspect a nighttime teeth grinding habit.
- Chewing Ice
- There’s nothing wrong with consuming ice in terms of your body health. After all, it’s just frozen water – what could be bad about that? Well, if you are trying to keep your teeth healthy and strong, chomping, crunching or chewing ice is a very bad idea. Your teeth aren’t designed to breakdown something so hard. This can cause your teeth to break as well as irritate the soft tissues inside your mouth.
- Using Your Teeth as an Opener
- We know it is quite convenient to rip open a bag with your back molars or even use your teeth to open a bottle. But trust us, there are specific tools for these kinds of tasks, and your teeth are not one of them. Save your teeth and use the scissors or bottle opener instead.
- Bottle-Feeding in the Crib
- You’re tired and you just want to let your baby finish his or her bottle in the crib so you can call it a night. We get it. However, the consequences towards your baby’s oral health just aren’t worth it. Whether you have an infant or a toddler or its breast milk or formula, it’s a “no-go” when it comes to allowing anything other than water in the crib.
- Frequent Snacking
- Are you a grazer? Do you get the munchies throughout the day? It may be okay for your metabolism, but snacking for brief periods all day long can compromise your oral health. It doesn’t allow your mouth to produce saliva like it should after a regular meal, which means it is harder to rinse away bacteria and break down food particles. Your oral environment may also remain acidic, which is also bad for the enamel of your teeth for long periods of time. If you absolutely need to satisfy your snack craving, consider a food that isn’t starchy or sugary.
- We hope this one isn’t a surprise to you. Nonetheless, it must be mentioned that cigarette smoking is one of the worst habits for your oral health (and your body health)! Cigarettes stain your teeth, contribute to gum disease, cause bad breath and even increase your risk for mouth cancer.
Is there a habit you need to kick for a better smile? At Pure Dental Health, we are happy to help you determine which habits are healthy and which ones are harmful.
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