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Bad Habits To Avoid For Better Oral Health

Posted by Willow Creek Family Dentistry Jan 20, 2023

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Good oral health habits are essential for a healthy mouth. In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding habits that can harm your teeth and gums is important. On the other hand, there are many bad dental habits that can have negative effects on your teeth. Listed below are some of them.

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a bad habit that can lead to several problems. It can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, as well as discoloration and decay around those newly damaged areas. Biting your nails can also affect your jaw alignment and cause TMJ disorder. The habit also causes damage to your gums due to constantly pressing them against your fingernails. Once you notice the damage you are causing to your hands by biting your nails, it may be easier to stop this habit.

Using Teeth As Tools

Chewing on pen caps or pencils is one of the most common habits that contribute to tooth damage. Anything other than food that is chewed on can wear down your teeth and lead to fractures and chips in the teeth. While you may be tempted to use pens as chew toys, it’s best that you refrain from the habit.

Chewing Ice Cubes

Ice cubes can be pretty satisfying to chew on. But do you know what else is? Your teeth! Especially if you have fillings or crowns. Chewing on hard objects can chip away at your teeth’s protective enamel and leave you at risk for tooth decay. Plus, ice is hard and can crack a tooth if you aren’t careful. We recommend chewing sugar-free gum instead and avoiding ice cubes altogether.

Frequent Snacking

If your teeth are prone to chipping or breaking so easily, your diet might be to blame. If you snack between meals often, you’re exposing your teeth to foods that could damage them. The constant exposure of your teeth to sugar and acids in foods like chips, pretzels, and candy can wear down their protective qualities over time. And, of course, when you chew these types of foods, they can cause tiny cracks and chips to occur on the surface of your teeth.

Teeth Grinding

Many people grind their teeth from time to time and may not even be aware that they are doing it. This type of condition is known as “bruxism.” For some people, teeth grinding happens while they sleep, but others may do it during the day as well. There are numerous reasons why someone might grind their teeth, including stress, sleep disorders, crooked or missing teeth, an abnormal bite, or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). If you think that you grind your teeth at night, it is important to schedule an appointment with a dentist and get appropriate treatments like a night guard. 

Brushing Too Hard

When brushing your teeth, it is important to remember to brush gently and not “scrub” too hard at the enamel, as this can wear down the protective layers of the teeth. Enamel is the hardest part of the human body, so it is important not to wear it away prematurely. It is also important not to push too hard on the toothbrush bristles, which can also wear the protective enamel away. Brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. 

To discover more about dental procedures, visit Willow Creek Family Dentistry at 2346 Mormon Trek Blvd, Suite 2600, Iowa City, IA 52246, or call our dentist in Iowa City, IA, at (319) 339-4456.

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