Old habits may be hard to break, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overcome them. Sometimes, all it takes is reminding yourself about the consequences of your bad habits. This is especially true when it comes to dental habits. Many of us engage in harmful activities with our teeth that can hurt them over time, or even in the blink of an eye. A dentist in Danville is here to highlight five of these habits, as well as provide some helpful tips on how to stop them.
1. Use Your Teeth as Tools
It might seem more convenient to use your teeth to open stubborn packaging or crack open a bottle. As tempting as it can be, this habit can seriously hurt your pearly whites. It’s an easy way to chip or crack your teeth, which can warrant an emergency trip to your dentist’s office.
Using the right tool in the first place can save you time, money, and pain. Keep handy items like scissors, a nutcracker, and a bottle opener in an easy-to-reach drawer. When you’re done, place them back in the drawer. This will create a new and healthy habit that’s much better for your oral health.
2. Chew on Extremely Hard Objects
Many of us chew on ice or the end of our pencils without really thinking about it. However, the pressure from regularly chewing on these objects can wear down or fracture your tooth enamel over time. Whenever the urge to chew on something strikes you, pop in a piece of sugar-free gum instead.
3. Use Tobacco Products
Whether you smoke or chew, tobacco does nothing good for your oral health. It can cause bad breath, stained teeth, gum disease, tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss if you smoke or chew for long enough. Ask your dentist or doctor if they have any resources that can help you kick the habit.
4. Consume Too Much Sugar
It’s no secret that sugar is bad for your teeth. Juices, sodas, sports drinks, and even milk all bathe your teeth in sugar, increasing your risk of getting cavities. When the bacteria in your mouth feast on sugar particles, they create acid that erodes your enamel. Substitute sugary snacks for fresh fruits and vegetables and water instead.
5. Brush Your Teeth Incorrectly
Many people actually apply too much pressure when brushing their teeth. This can irritate your gums and wear down your enamel, leading to sensitive teeth. Also, your toothbrush’s bristles should be soft. Frayed or worn bristles won’t clean your mouth as effectively. Make sure to also floss to clean areas of your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.
Taking good care of your teeth leads to a happier, healthier smile. For more advice on how to quit these habits for good, ask your dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Payne is a dentist in Danville, VA who has completed more than 2,000 hours of continuing education courses throughout his career. As a result, he has achieved a Mastership status in the Academy of General Dentistry. He believes in the power of preventive dentistry, like avoiding bad dental habits, in establishing great oral health care. For help on quitting smoking or any of the habits described above, visit Dr. Payne’s website.