Six Most Damaging Habits to Teeth

Posted by Arizona Dental Heights Dec 12,2022

Nail biting, smoking, brushing teeth aggressively, teeth grinding, using teeth as tools, and not visiting a dentist regularly are some of the common bad habits which can seriously damage our oral health. Here is how!

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting can be damaging to the teeth and oral health in several ways. When an individual bites their nails, they are putting their teeth under extreme pressure. This pressure can cause teeth to crack, chip, break or wear down over time. Nail biting can also lead to jaw pain and jaw clenching, which can result in temporomandibular joint disorder TMD. So, if you have the habit of nail-biting, quit it at the earliest. 

  • Smoking

Did you know that smoking can negatively affect your oral health? The nicotine in cigarettes also stains your teeth and causes gum disease. Tobacco use can also lead to oral cancers. If you’ve tried quitting but were unable to remain tobacco-free, try scheduling regular dental visits and discussing options for smoking cessation with your dentist. He or she may know of medications or treatments that could help you kick the habit. There are also several approved over-the-counter nicotine gum and patches available. Some work better than others, so it’s important to do your research before investing in a product.

By becoming tobacco-free, you’ll also be doing what’s best for your overall health. In just one year, your risk for heart attack decreases by 1/3 just by quitting smoking! Your risk of stroke reduces in half after five years of being smoke-free as well.

  • Aggressive Brushing

Brushing your teeth isn’t bad – it’s how you use your toothbrush that can hurt your oral health. Brushing improperly can leave you with sensitive gums, tooth enamel damage, and receding gums. Here are some tips on the proper way to brush your teeth.

  1. Don’t brush too hard. Your toothbrush bristles should be soft. If you rub them over your gums or press them against your teeth, you run the risk of damaging the gum tissue. You also may wear down your enamel and irritate the nerves inside your teeth.
  2. Don’t brush too frequently. Twice a day is enough for healthy teeth and gums. Excessive brushing could wear down the gums and increase the risk of gum recession. The enamel can also become damaged if the teeth are brushed too often.
  3. Don’t forget to floss. Flossing is an important part of any oral hygiene routine. It removes food particles from between the teeth and along the gum line, where bacteria can grow and cause cavities. Proper flossing can also help protect teeth from future damage by correcting bad habits like clenching and grinding or using the teeth to open packages.
  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is one of the most common bad habits that can cause damage to our oral health. The habit of teeth grinding or clenching can happen when you’re sleeping at night or even during the day. Many people grind their teeth occasionally and may not even notice it. However, when teeth grinding becomes a habit, it can cause severe damage not only to your teeth but to your gums as well. In worst-case scenarios, untreated teeth grinding can lead to broken or cracked teeth and tooth loss. It’s also associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which can cause jaw pain and even headaches. If you grind your teeth at night, visit our dentist for a mouthguard. 

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Biting pens or pencils, crunching ice, using teeth to open bottles and packages, etc., are classic examples of when people use their teeth as tools. These behaviors can damage the teeth severely. For example, when chewing pen caps, people apply a tremendous amount of pressure on their teeth, which can wear down enamel and cause chips or cracks. Similarly, people who chew on ice can crack a tooth, chip off a piece of tooth, or even fracture their jaw if they bite down with enough force. 

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

Not visiting the dentist at least once a year can lead to several complications. Regular dental visits help to diagnose and treat conditions early before they progress to more serious stages. For example, cavities won’t go away on their own, and in advanced cases, they can be painful and difficult to treat. Early detection of oral conditions will allow dentists to develop a treatment plan that will prevent the need for more costly and complicated procedures later on. Besides that, regular dental care can help to prevent common oral health issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer.

The ADA recommends that you schedule a checkup with your dentist every six months. These checkups include a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. Your dentist will also clean each tooth to eliminate any plaque buildup and check for any sensitivity issues. During the appointment, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history to identify any risk factors or diseases that may have an effect on your oral health.

Arizona Dental Heights, situated in Mesa, AZ, is equipped with modern technologies and expert dentists who provide the best services to patients. Call (480) 525-6000 and schedule an appointment with the dentist to learn more about the dental services we offer. 

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