Practicing good oral hygiene habits can protect your oral and overall health. It not only keeps your teeth healthy and strong, but also prevents serious dental issues. However, there are some bad habits that can harm our oral health. Here are some of them:

  • Failing to brush and floss regularly

Not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque buildup occurs naturally in the mouth and sticks to the teeth if not properly removed. Over time this plaque buildup can cause cavities to develop. Bacteria also live in plaque deposits between teeth and around the gums, which can result in inflammation and irritation. This can lead to periodontitis if left untreated.

Brushing and flossing should be done at least twice a day to ensure the teeth are clean and healthy. Flossing before bed is generally recommended to remove food particles that may not have been brushed away. This helps prevent tooth decay and disease.

  • Teeth grinding (Bruxism)

Bruxism is an oral habit in which a person grinds or clenches his or her teeth together. This can cause everything from minor headaches to severe jaw pain. Teeth grinding also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum recession. It can damage restorations such as dental crowns and even cause cracks in teeth that can worsen over time. At-home remedies for bruxism include avoiding caffeine and not drinking alcohol before bedtime. However, the risk for serious complications with tooth damage may require a night guard or other treatment to eliminate the habit altogether. Your dentist may recommend anti-anxiety medications to help you relax at night and prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth. If your dentist suspects you suffer from sleep apnea as well, he or she may refer you to your physician for additional testing.

  • Using teeth as tools

If you chew on pen caps or use your teeth to open lids or cut tape, you’re putting yourself at risk for chipped teeth and damaged fillings. Your enamel is very strong, but it’s very brittle and can break easily if you bite down on something hard often. Avoid damaging your enamel and requiring restorative dentistry by not using your teeth as a tool.

  • Not visiting the dentist regularly

Regular dental visits are crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. During your routine visit, the dental hygienist will remove plaque buildup and tartar from your teeth. This will keep cavities from forming as well as gum disease. The hygienist will also clean the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth that you can’t reach with your toothbrush. They’ll polish your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your smile against decay. Additionally, if you have any oral health concerns, the dentist can address them during your appointment. For example, they can spot early signs of oral cancer during your routine exam. Early detection is key for successfully treating oral cancer.

If it’s been a while since your last appointment, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to keep your smile healthy and bright! Dental exams are critically important to maintaining your oral health.

  • Nail biting

One of the worst habits when it comes to oral health is nail biting. This habit may be linked to nervousness and boredom. Either way, it can harm your teeth and lead to long-term damage. The habit can lead to chipped or broken teeth and even affect the roots of the teeth. It can also lead to tooth sensitivity. If you’re looking to kick this bad habit once and for all, consider keeping your hands busy with other activities.

  • Smoking

Smoking can be detrimental to both your oral health and your overall health. It can cause gum disease, oral cancer, tooth decay, bad breath, stained teeth, and more. If you have smoked for a long period of time, you may also have a loss of bone in your jaw, known as osteonecrosis. Smokers are more likely to also suffer from other health issues such as heart disease and cancer as well. Quitting now is best as it will decrease your risk of having complications later on in life. Ask your dentist for tips to help stop smoking, such as using a smoking cessation patch.

  • Brushing teeth too aggressively

One of the most common bad oral habits that damage your smile is brushing your teeth too hard and too often. As a general rule of thumb, you should brush your teeth for two minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening. If you brush with too much force, you can erode the protective enamel on your teeth. In addition to getting cavities, you may also wear down your tooth enamel so much that it causes sensitivity. You should make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, which applies less pressure on the gums and tooth enamel. Additionally, you should replace your toothbrush every three months. When the bristles start to wear down, and they are no longer cleaning your teeth effectively, you could be damaging your oral health further each time you brush your teeth.

Stockton Creative Dental offers comprehensive dental care services in Stockton, CA. For more details and appointments, call us at (209) 466-5000, book online, or visit us at 2043 E, Fremont St. #8 Stockton, CA 95205.

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