Seven Bad Dental Habits to Stop Right Now

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If you practice good dental hygiene, like brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and seeing your dentist twice a year for a dental exam, then kudos to you. However, you may be engaging in some bad dental habits that could be undermining all your efforts to have good teeth. From tobacco use to chewing on ice, there are an array of ways you could be impacting your dental health. At Byers Station Dental in Chester Springs, PA, our team strives to educate patients on how to take care of their teeth and gums. Avoid a negative impact on your oral health by kicking the following bad dental habits. To learn more or if you need a dentist in Chester Springs, PA, contact our practice to schedule a consultation.

What bad oral habits can cause tooth damage?

It is essential to know what daily habits, activities, or even beverages could cause tooth damage. Most children, during their formative years, typically engage in some form of thumbing sucking. In some cases, it can severely alter a child's bite occlusion and even damage developing teeth. If this oral habit persists beyond developmental age, a child may need orthodontics treatment or a fixed dental appliance to correct any thumb-sucking-related issues. Here are other bad dental habits that could be putting your teeth and gums at risk.

1. Using your teeth as tools

Dentists report that patients rely on their teeth for several odd reasons: opening a container, biting their nails, and tearing open a box. Next time you decide to put something in your mouth and use your teeth as a tool, just stop. Damage to tooth enamel can occur, causing teeth to weaken or chip. Just keep it simple, and protect your teeth by grabbing pliers or scissors next time.

2. Consuming sugar

Sugar causes bacteria in the mouth to convert to an acidic layer on tooth enamel. You can foster tooth decay by drinking or eating sugary treats or sodas throughout the day. Healthy teeth require a nutritious diet, so consider a healthier option the next time you need a snack or treat.

3. Chewing tobacco or smoking

Tobacco products are not only bad for your overall body but also your dental health. Yellow teeth from smoking are a common cosmetic issue, but this habit can also increase the risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and more. Tobacco use of any kind can negatively impact every area of your mouth, so consider quitting to preserve your oral health.

4. Brushing too hard

While brushing your teeth twice a day is a great dental habit, it can do more harm than good. Adults who aggressively brush their teeth can wear down their tooth enamel, even create "pits" or holes. Vigorous brushing can cause tooth damage, gum recession, and increase a person's risk of developing cavities.

5. Chewing ice or hard candies

At Byers Station Dental, we understand it is challenging to finish a cold beverage and not crunch on leftover ice cubes. It may seem like a harmless task. However, chewing ice and other hard substances, like candy, can damage your teeth. This bad dental habit causes friction on the tooth enamel, leading to cracks or chips, and even lost dental restorations like tooth fillings.

6. Constant snacking

Constant snacking or eating throughout the day increases a person's risk of developing tooth decay. Starchy or sugary foods or treats will stick around in your mouth all day, only increasing the risk of harmful bacteria forming that causes tooth decay. When you need to snack, opt for healthier choices, or try to eat only three meals a day. If you have a treat or snack, rinse your mouth with water afterward to flush away any leftover food particles or debris.

7. Grinding or clenching your teeth

Often, people clench or grind their teeth at night or throughout the day without even realizing it. Bruxism or teeth grinding is a problematic oral habit to break and is usually caused by stress. Our dental experts at Byers Station Dental can provide a custom mouth guard or dental appliance to protect your teeth from this condition. If you are clenching or grinding your teeth, consider other methods to relieve stress, like working out, practicing deep breathing exercises or meditation, even seeking help from a counselor or therapist.

Learn more about good dental habits from our experts

Good oral hygiene goes beyond what you might think. You can protect your teeth and gums by combining regular dental visits with daily brushing and flossing and forgoing bad dental habits. If you need a dentist in Chester Springs, PA, schedule a consultation at Byers Station Dental with our caring team today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.