8 Habits That Harm Your Dental Health

Teeth are one of the key parts of your body, and any damage or infection to the teeth negatively affects your general health. Poor dental health can cause excessive pain and lead to tooth loss. Many factors contribute to poor dental health, but some common habits are usually the main culprits. Here are some of those habits.

1. Using Teeth as a Tool

The primary purpose of the teeth is to consume food, but some people may use their teeth for other activities. For example, you may use your teeth to open bottles, bite nails, or chew ice. 

These activities will cause cracks in your teeth and may introduce germs and bacteria into your mouth. Hence, only use your teeth to chew food.

2. Failing to Brush Properly

You have to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss at least once a day. However, some people forget to brush at all. Others brush in the wrong way or use the wrong toothbrush.

While the ideal toothbrush for you depends on your teeth, power or electric toothbrushes often provide the best results. The brushes can easily get rid of plaque accumulation because the brushes vibrate at high speeds. The vibration stimulates the gums and dislodges particles from hidden areas in your mouth.

If you can’t access an electric toothbrush, go for a manual brush but use the right toothpaste. Also, make an effort to brush all spots in your mouth, particularly the spaces between the teeth.

3. Using Tobacco

Tobacco is available in raw form and in cigars and cigarettes. Regardless of the tobacco products that you consume, the tobacco will eventually destroy your gums and teeth. In particular, tobacco may increase the risk of oral cancer, tooth decay, dry mouth, and bad breath.

If you are addicted to tobacco products, reach out to a physician to learn about programs that can help you overcome the addiction.

4. Sucking Your Fingers or Thumb

Babies can suck their fingers or thumbs, but the habit shouldn’t continue after the age of five. If the habit continues, teeth may become misaligned. Continued misalignment of teeth eventually causes major dental issues.

Consequently, get help from a pediatrician or pediatric dentist if your child continues to suck their fingers or thumb after turning five.

5. Heavy Drinking

Alcohol can dry out your mouth and prevent saliva from removing bacteria from the mouth. The result will be bad breath and an increased risk of getting tooth cavities. Also, the acids in alcohol can corrode and wear away tooth enamel. The only way out is to reduce or abstain from alcohol consumption.

6. Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding may occur when you are awake or asleep. Multiple factors lead to teeth grinding, but anxiety and stress are the usual causes. Teeth grinding wears down the teeth and may lead to decay. A possible solution is to enroll in stress-reducing programs and, in the meantime, use therapeutic Botox and mouth guards to protect your teeth. 

7. Misuse of Toothpicks

Toothpicks are only for removing particles lodged between teeth. However, improper use of toothpicks can scratch the surface of the teeth and damage the surrounding tissues. Similarly, if you push the toothpick too deep into the cracks between the teeth, you may damage the gums and possibly cause an infection.

8. Poor Hydration

Healthy teeth require proper and regular hydration. One glass of water can help wash away acids, bacteria, and food particles in the mouth. The best time to drink water is immediately after consuming foods that stain, such as coffee or red wine. Also, use water to rinse away bacteria from the mouth.

Even those with the best dental habits need to see a dentist on a regular basis. Highline Dental provides general dentistry, dentures, pediatric services, and cosmetic dental services. Book an appointment today.