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Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by Sunset Oak Dental on Feb 6 2023, 04:29 AM

Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

We spend time each day caring for our teeth. We brush and floss, eat healthy foods, and visit our dentist for regular checkups. But did you know that there are habits that can affect your oral health? Here are some bad habits that can damage your teeth. 

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a harmful habit that can also damage your teeth. It is a common stress-relieving behavior, and many people bite their nails without even realizing it. However, if your fingernails are always in your mouth, you are putting your teeth at risk of wearing down or chipping. You may also cause gum tissue irritation from chewing on your fingernails. Plus, if the nail is sharp enough, you can cause a painful injury to your gums by accidentally cutting them. If you do this often, you could also increase your risk for infection in the soft tissues of the mouth due to bacteria and other germs being transferred from your fingers to your mouth when you chew on your nails.

If you really want your fingernails to look their best, try to wear polish on them instead of chewing them off. This will also help prevent them from breaking or damaging your teeth.

Using Teeth As Tools

Another bad oral health habit that tops the list is using teeth as tools – whether it be to crack open a nut, hold open a lid, or anything else you may have to do with your hands instead. While this may seem like an innocent act, it can be damaging to your smile. Things like opening bottles or using your teeth to open plastic bags can bend or damage your tooth enamel. This can leave your teeth vulnerable to decay, cracks, or other issues. Opening things with your teeth can cause chips and cracks that are vulnerable to cavities; that's why it's best to just find another tool to do the job for you.

Frequent Snacking

Eating snacks throughout the day is good because it keeps our energy levels up and can prevent us from overeating at mealtimes. However, some snack foods are better than others for our teeth and gums. For example, chips and other crunchy items can be very high in carbohydrates and tend to get stuck in between your teeth. Since they don't dissolve very well, they are hard to remove with your toothbrush or floss. This can result in plaque buildup and, eventually, tooth decay. If you must snack frequently, choose something healthier, like a piece of fruit or low-fat yogurt.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a normal infant reflex that typically ceases by the time a child is between the ages of three and four. Unfortunately, many children continue the habit well into their toddler years and into adulthood.

This bad oral habit can cause a lot of problems and affect your child's teeth in many ways, including:

  • Injury to the gums.
  • Gaps in the teeth.
  • Relapse of the orthodontic correction.
  • Excessive wear on the teeth and jaw joints.
  • Orthodontic problems.

If you are concerned that your child is thumb-sucking, please contact our office. We would be happy to schedule an appointment so that we can evaluate the situation and recommend the best treatment for your child's smile.

Teeth Grinding

While many people grind their teeth while they're sleeping and don't even realize they're doing it, others may do it during the day or when they're stressed. Either way, grinding your teeth can wear them down and cause them to chip, crack or even break apart if left untreated for too long.

In addition to causing cosmetic damage that can lead to discomfort, infections, and potentially the need for restorative dentistry procedures like dental crowns and bridges, tooth grinding also puts undue stress on the teeth, which can result in TMJ problems. A dentist may recommend a mouth guard to wear at night that helps to protect the teeth from the effects of teeth grinding. 

Brushing Too Hard

When we brush too hard, we are not only wearing down the enamel on our teeth, but we are also at high risk for receding gums, and receding gums can also lead to tooth loss. This habit is why dentists recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes. Consider using an electric toothbrush, which can help you remove more plaque without the added pressure.

At Sunset Oak Dental, Dr. Volki Felahy provide numerous dental procedures. To learn more, call our office at 916-435-5111 or visit us at 2161 Sunset Blvd #300, Rocklin, CA 95765.

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2161 Sunset Blvd, Suite 300
Rocklin, CA, 95765

Sunset Oak Dental

2161 Sunset Blvd, Suite 300

Tel: (916) 435-5111

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