Our oral health depends on a lot of factors. Our diet, hygiene, genetics, and lifestyle habits all have an impact on our oral health. Good oral health practices must be established from a young age. Practicing healthy habits like brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist regularly can prevent many dental issues. On the other hand, bad dental practices can harm our oral health. Here is how.
Nail biting is a bad habit that can be painful for your teeth and cause them to chip or crack. It can also irritate your gums and increase the risk of gum disease. If you bite your nails, try to break the habit by wearing gloves or having a distraction handy. You can also try putting a bitter-tasting polish on your nails, so you don't bite them. If you're having a hard time breaking this habit on your own, talk to your dentist. They can recommend ways to help you quit or even help you with anxiety that might be causing you to bite your nails. They can also keep a close watch on your dental health to make sure you don't develop any oral health issues down the road.
Smokers are much more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers. Tobacco use of any kind is harmful to your oral health, including chewing tobacco or cigarettes. After just one year of tobacco use, your risk of oral cancer increases by 20 percent. The risk of lung cancer and mouth cancer also increases with continued tobacco use. Untreated gum disease has also been linked to the development of other serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Quitting any tobacco product is the first step towards improving your oral and overall health. To help reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal, slowly reduce your daily nicotine intake over several weeks. Take it one day at a time to avoid feeling discouraged. If you are having trouble quitting on your own, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about medications that can help curb your cravings. You can also speak with a health and wellness professional about other options that may be right for you.
While everyone should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once, it's important to be gentle with our teeth and gums to avoid damaging them. Brushing too hard or too fast can damage the enamel on our teeth and cause gum recession. Gum recession exposes the roots of the teeth and makes the teeth more sensitive while creating gaps for bacteria and plaque to hide in. This can create greater tooth sensitivity over time.
Instead, use a toothbrush with a soft-bristled head and use a gentle circular brush motion to brush your teeth. Also, be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles are frayed or broken. You can also ask your dentist about the best toothbrush to use for you. Some toothbrushes have hard bristles because they can be more effective at removing staining from your teeth but they can also be too abrasive on your teeth's enamel. Talk to your dentist about which options may work best for you.
Bruxism, or nighttime tooth grinding and jaw clenching, can cause damage to your teeth. As you sleep, you unconsciously clench your jaw and grind your teeth against each other. This puts a lot of force on your teeth and can result in cracks in your teeth, worn-down enamel, or even tooth loss. The symptoms of bruxism are puffy or sore jaws in the morning, headaches, and earaches, and can be exacerbated by stress.
If you've noticed that you are grinding your teeth when you sleep, then ask your dentist for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth from these nightly habits. Mouth guards can help protect your teeth and can also keep your smile looking its best! Ask your dental office if they offer custom mouthguards.
Biting nails can chip or fracture teeth; chewing on pens and pencils can wear down tooth enamel over time; opening bottles with your teeth can damage your enamel and cause severe dental issues, and even using your pearly whites to pull open a bag of chips or peel a hard candy wrapper off could result in chipped or broken teeth. To avoid damaging your smile by using your teeth as tools, avoid putting unnecessary stress on your teeth. Use a bottle opener to open bottles, or use scissors instead!
The American Dental Association recommends patients visit their dentists at least twice a year for regular checkups and routine cleanings. Unfortunately, many people avoid these visits for one reason or another. Some people don't visit the dentist because they simply don't have the time or money to put it towards dental care. Others may simply have anxiety when thinking about visits to the dentist's office. In some cases, people may avoid the dentist because they are afraid of pain. Whatever the reason, not taking proper care of your teeth can lead to serious oral complications and even tooth loss.
Make an appointment with us today at (432) 570-7080 or email us at email@example.com for further questions. Get in touch with our office at 4519 N Garfield St., Suite 16A, Midland, TX 79705.