Bad habits: we all have them. Whether you always forget to put your seatbelt on, like to eat a bit too much chocolate, or simply spend too much time watching TV, everyone does things that are bad for them! There are plenty of habits that are worse than others, and when it comes to your health there’s no easier set of habits to break than those that can endanger your teeth!
This Precise Dental Of Houston blog entry will try to help you identify some tooth-endangering habits that you might be guilty of – prevention is the most important tool you have in your oral health arsenal! Don’t feel guilty if any of these apply to you – most of us have had one of these habits at some point in our lives!
Bad Habit #1: Chewing On Your Nails
Look down at your fingers – do they look chewed up, possibly dry, cracked, or bleeding? You’re probably a nail chewer: a horrible habit that isn’t just unsightly but also damaging to your teeth!
For starters, consider what braces do: they apply constant force to eventually move your teeth into the perfect position. This kind of force doesn’t need to be constant to cause your teeth to shift, which is one of the bad things about nail-biting! If you do it for a long it can eventually result in your teeth becoming loose and moving out of place – not a good thing to have happen!
And just like biting down on anything small and hard, there’s a large amount of force being transferred to your teeth when you chomp down! That force has a tendency to cause damage to your tooth structure and enamel, with the possibility of chipping and fracturing just a bite away!
These reasons also apply to chewing on pencils, ice, or anything else that’s hard and not meant to be food!
Bad Habit #2: Brushing Too Hard
It’s understandable – you want to make sure you’re getting every little bit of that plaque off your teeth, but brushing hard is doing more harm than good! Remember, there isn’t just a hard bit of tooth getting cleaned by your brush – there’s your gums too!
Rough brushing can be really bad for your gums. You can experience irritation, bleeding, and recession that leads to root exposure – not something you want to deal with! Make sure you always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush down and away from your gums. A back-and-forth brushing motion is just one more way to harm your gums!
Even if you are experiencing some gum recession it’s never too late to change your brushing habits to save your gums from further damage! Make sure that you also use floss every day after brushing in the evening – it’s essential in getting plaque from hard to reach places!
Bad Habit #3: Sugary and Starchy Treats
Food is great. Your favorite dishes can be a relief from a long, hard day and a favorite cold beverage can be an amazing treat in hot weather. You might not know what your food is doing to your teeth and what you should enjoy in moderation!
Are you a sweets person? If so you probably don’t need to be reminded how bad sugar can be for your teeth! Sugar is food for plaque bacteria, and when they eat it they produce acids that eat away at your enamel. Just a little treat can mean an assault on your oral health!
People who love salty foods aren’t exempt from tooth decay fears – refined carbohydrates found in starchy food made with white flour is just as dangerous as sugar! Starches in pretzels, chips, crackers, white bread, and other carb-filled goodies break down into sugar pretty quick – even while small bits still sit in your mouth! Guess what that means? Tooth decay.
It’s best to ignore those treats or at least moderate your intake! You’re better off having a fresh veggie or fruit instead of chips and a coke – your teeth and body will thank you for a healthy treat!
If you’re concerned that you’ve been practicing some bad oral health habits, don’t worry – we can still treat you and help resolve your dental health concerns! At Precise Dental of Houston we’ll work hard to help you!