Every one of us has bad habits we wish we could break. A lot of them are really detrimental to our teeth, and we don’t even realize it! Since you only get one set of adult teeth, it’s important to take care of them, and one way to do that is to try and quit these 5 bad dental habits. Read more below as a dentist in Danville talks about these habits and how to stop them.
1. Munching on Potato Chips and Gummy Candy
We already know that these snacks aren’t great for our waistline, but they can also wreak havoc on your teeth. Gummy candies get stuck on your teeth for longer periods of time than other foods. This means bacteria have more opportunities to create acids that destroy your tooth enamel, causing cavities. Even though potato chips aren’t sugary, they can cause the exact same type of damage to our teeth. They are high in starches, which get broken down by bacteria in the same way the sugars do, converting it into an acid that erodes your tooth enamel and leaves you more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. If you’re going to consume these snacks, be sure to brush thoroughly afterwards.
2. Using Your Teeth for Things Besides Eating
This is a pretty broad topic, but it encompasses things like:
- Biting your nails
- Chewing on ice, pen caps, or straws
- Using your teeth to hold bags or open packages
All of these habits can wear down your enamel and even cause tooth fractures, resulting in serious pain. If you indulge in these activities because you’re bored or anxious, try chewing some sugar-free gum instead. It’s a much healthier alternative for your teeth.
3. Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
If you’re stressed or anxious, it could also manifest in grinding or clenching your teeth. Oftentimes this happens while we sleep, when we can’t tell we’re doing it. If you live a stressful life, it never hurts to ask your dentist to examine your teeth for signs of grinding. Then he or she could prescribe you a nightguard, or a plastic tray worn over the teeth to prevent harmful contact during the night.
4. Brushing Too Aggressively
Brushing your teeth extra hard must make them extra clean, right? Wrong. Applying too much pressure when you brush can wear down your enamel. Use a brush with soft bristles to apply only the gentlest pressure to your teeth. Think of it like polishing an eggshell.
We all know that smoking is bad for you. In addition to causing seriously bad breath, it can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer. If you need help kicking the habit, talk to your dentist or your primary care doctor. They can supply you with resources to help you stop.
These bad habits may be hard to quit, but doing so will prove immensely beneficial for your teeth.
About the Author
Danville Dental Associates now has 5 convenient locations in and around Chatham and Danville, VA. We have an expert team of 8 dentists who are skilled in a variety of areas, including prescribing nightguards to stop teeth grinding. If you need help quitting any of your harmful oral habits, don’t hesitate to contact us through our website or by phone at (434) 793-4116.