Address: 3325 Premier Drive, Plano, TX 75023

Are You Ruining Your Teeth With These Bad Habits?

Our teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, but that’s rarely the case. Before modern dentistry, most people lost their teeth later in life. Even now, approximately 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and 40 million are completely toothless. 

Tooth decay and periodontitis are the most common causes of tooth loss, but bad habits can exacerbate the issue. 

At Renaissance Dental in Plano, Texas, Dr. Kari Blankenship can help repair damaged smiles with a smile makeover. However, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Here’s how breaking some bad habits can help you have healthier, stronger teeth.

Bad habits that can affect your teeth 

Plenty of us have bad habits: leaving the toilet seat up, screen time before bed, elbows on the table, slouching. Certain bad dental habits, however, can have a serious impact on your oral health. 

Improper dental care 

You should be brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing after meals. However, many people don’t brush as often as they should, and even more of them don’t rinse or floss. 

When you brush your teeth, make sure to brush for at least two minutes, and follow up your nightly brush with a round of flossing. Flossing removes debris from between your teeth, where the bristles might not reach. 

If you avoid flossing because you think it’s a hassle, or have mobility issues that prevent you from using dental floss, a water flosser system can make things easier. Failing to have a good oral hygiene routine can cause gum disease and tooth loss.

Forceful brushing

This might fall under improper dental care, but it’s worth mentioning on its own. Brushing too hard with a harsh toothbrush can wear away enamel and damage the soft tissue of your gums. Always use soft-bristle toothbrushes, and brush gently using circular motions. 

Chewing ice or hard candy

Our teeth are strong, but they’re not unbreakable. Ice and some kinds of candy are hard enough to crack teeth, and you shouldn’t test your luck by doing it often. 

The constant stress of chewing on hard items can also lead to jaw problems and worsen conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Hard candy also coats your mouth and teeth in sugar, which accelerates tooth decay. 

If you chew on things to improve your focus, consider switching to sugar-free gum. 

Grinding and clenching your teeth 

Many people find themselves clenching their jaw during times of stress, and sleep bruxism can cause you to grind your teeth in your sleep. This leads to tooth wear over time, which can completely destroy your teeth. 

Set periodic alarms during the day to remind yourself to relax your jaw, and invest in a nightguard to prevent bedtime bruxism. 

Nail-biting 

Biting your nails can place stress on your jaw and lead to tooth wear. If your fingernails are hard enough, biting them can even cause your teeth to chip. On top of that, nail-biting is unsanitary!

If you have a nail-biting problem, wear lotion or nail polish to remind yourself not to chew and try investing in other forms of stress relief. 

Forming good habits 

It can take time to break bad habits and form better ones, but it’s worth the effort. Don’t procrastinate your resolutions until the next new year; try to change your behavior now. 

Set alarms and reminders, look for other ways of coping with stress, and make your oral health a priority in your life. 

Interested in a dental checkup, night guard, or routine cleaning? You can reach out to us at Dental Renaissance by calling the office, or request your appointment online

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