There are two major parts to your oral care that can protect your dental health if followed: preventive dentistry visits and practicing excellent oral hygiene. But, in addition to maintaining these very important parts of your regimen, there are some habits that you should try your best to avoid, the reason being that they can derail all your other efforts. So stay tuned as your dentist goes in depth on these possible roadblocks.
Oh No – Don’t Do These Things!
Bad habits are easy to pick up but are hard to break away from, but when it comes to your oral health, it’s a must that they be identified, and steps taken to remove them from your life. Some of the culprits of oral maladies are:
- Smoking – Smoking holds no positive benefits for any aspect of your oral or overall health and instead, is quite detrimental. Not only does it cause discoloration of your teeth, but it also contributes to bad breath, decreases bone density in the jaw, inflames salivary glands, and can cause gum disease and oral cancer.
- Thumb Sucking – Children who suck their thumbs are subject to misaligning their teeth. This is because their little ivories are still emerging, and the added pressure of the thumb forces them to grow outwardly.
- Brushing too Hard – Although it may seem that brushing your teeth harder will clean them better, it will actually cause problems, as it can irritate your gums and damage precious enamel.
- Clenching and Grinding – If you’re feeling anxious or upset, you may unknowingly be clenching and grinding your teeth, which can cause uneven wear and may even lead to them chipping, breaking or becoming dislodged.
- Chewing Ice – Your teeth are not designed to chew ice, so when you do you run the risk of breaking or chipping them.
- Using Teeth as Tools – As tempting as it may be to use your teeth to open a bottle or a package, this is definitely something you want to avoid. You run the risk of dislodging a tooth or puncturing your soft tissues.
- Biting Nails – Biting nails can also cause your teeth to break because they are not designed to bite down on such hard material.
- Holding Inedible Objects in Your Mouth – The only things that should enter your mouth are those that you can eat or drink, or were specifically designed to be worn for a certain period of time. When you put foreign objects inside of your oral cavity, you run the risk of puncturing the precious soft tissues or damaging your teeth.
Keep Your Dentist in the Loop
If you’re struggling with any of these bad habits, then one of the best things you can do is maintain regular visits with your dentist so that he can monitor your oral health and make sure that no problems have arisen. He can also help you with suggestions on ways to eliminate these activities so that you can experience greater overall wellness.
About the Author
Dr. J. Peter St. Clair graduated from St. Anselm College and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has over 20 years of experience practicing dentistry. A Faculty Club Member at Spear Education in Scottsdale, he is also a member of the American Dental Association and several other professional organizations. Dr. St. Clair practices at Dental Partners of Newburyport and can be reached for more information through his website.