You know that daily oral hygiene is a key to a healthy smile. But some common habits can damage your teeth even if you brush and floss them regularly. Knowing what these bad dental habits are and taking conscious steps to avoid them will keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Acidic Foods and Beverages
Consuming large quantities of acidic foods like citrus fruits, juices, and vinegar, high sugar foods like candy and dried fruit, as well as carbonated drinks and alcohol can result in a non-reversible condition known as acid erosion. This is the thinning and destruction of the enamel: the top layer of the tooth. Although the enamel is very strong, constant exposure to acidic foods can eventually lead to its degeneration, leaving the inside of the tooth exposed. The result? Increased sensitivity, pain and decay.
Grinding and Clenching Your Teeth
Whether it is from stress and anxiety, or physical conditions such as arthritic changes in the bone and cartilage of the jaw joint, this subconscious habit can cause teeth to thin and crack. It can also lead to pain in the jaw and mouth muscles, headaches and difficulty chewing. Similarly, using your teeth to open bottles and plastic bags can lead to the same problems.
Over-Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing too much and too often, especially with a hard toothbrush and abrasive toothpaste can lead to a condition known as abrasion. This is the recession of the gum line, which, if left unchecked, can cause severe pain, sensitivity and the formation of cavities. If abrasion occurs for several years, gum surgery may be necessary to fix the recession of the gums.
Using Non-Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is crucial in the protection of your teeth from decay causing foods and drinks. However, the use of non-fluoride toothpaste is becoming more popular due to some misconceptions about the effects of fluoride on the body. In large doses, it can be toxic, however the amount in toothpaste is nowhere near the threshold doses. In addition to preventing tooth decay, fluoride can also help remineralise the structure of teeth that have already begun to decay.
It is no secret that smoking is bad for your overall health, however this habit also has many adverse effects on your teeth. The nicotine in cigarettes causes the yellowing of teeth and can lead to oral cancer. Smoking is also directly linked to the progression of gum disease. This is an umbrella term for any disease that affects the supporting structures of the teeth, such as the gums and the bone. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to increased bone loss and loosening of the teeth, in a condition known as advanced periodontitis. Other factors, like poor oral hygiene have also been linked to gum disease, but the effects of the disease appear to be multiplied in smokers.
Many people have at least one of these habits, and it’s not so easy to give them up. Regular visits to our Whittier dentist will help to identify and treat any dental conditions caused by unhealthy lifestyle. Schedule an appointment at Sky Dental today, and let us help you give up the bad habits that can ruin your oral health.