Bad Habits That Can Damage Oral Health

Posted by Soos Creek Dental on Nov 8 2022, 03:33 AM

There are many bad habits that can damage your oral health. Some bad habits, such as drinking too much soda or coffee, can be harmful to your oral health. Other habits, such as teeth grinding or nail biting, can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Listed below are some of the worst habits for your oral health.

  • Consuming poor diet

A poor diet can weaken your immune system and leave your body vulnerable to illness. It is also known to increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar. When you eat sugary foods and beverages, the bacteria feed off the sugar and produce acids that erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Sticky foods are especially harmful because they adhere to the teeth and can provide fuel for plaque-causing bacteria. Limit these foods to protect your teeth and gums.

  • Not brushing or flossing regularly

ADA says you should brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. This helps remove food particles and harmful bacteria from your mouth to keep your gums and teeth clean. Make sure to floss at least once a day as well. It can help to remove food and bacteria between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Visiting your dentist every six months is another essential part of maintaining proper oral health. Your dentist can help you to spot problems early while they are still easily treatable so that you can take action right away. This can help you to avoid more invasive treatments and more serious complications in the future. Ignoring these oral care habits can wreak havoc on oral health.

  • Using tobacco in any form

People who smoke or chew tobacco put their teeth at risk for numerous oral health problems, including tooth loss and gum disease. However, tobacco use can also cause cosmetic issues as well like discoloration of the teeth due to nicotine stains and bad breath (halitosis). Tobacco products also contain a lot of sugar, which feeds bacteria in the mouth and causes plaque buildup. These sugars also fuel the development of cavities by feeding oral bacteria that naturally live in the mouth. Additionally, tobacco products cause dry mouth, which in turn can increase the amount of plaque that accumulates on the teeth and gums. 

In addition to being harmful to the teeth, using tobacco products is also extremely unhealthy for the entire body. The chemicals in these products can cause cancer and other serious diseases. So, if you have the habit of smoking, quit it at the earliest.

  • Grinding your teeth

Many people don’t even realize they grind their teeth at night until they wake up with jaw pain. The pain and inflammation caused by bruxism can lead to other health problems such as an ear infection or migraine headache. If you regularly wake up with unexplained tooth pain or headaches, you may be grinding your teeth during sleep and should seek treatment for it. Talk to your general dentist about wearing a mouth guard at night to protect your teeth from excessive pressure and damage when you grind your teeth.

  • Nail biting

Nail biting is a bad habit that can damage your teeth in several ways. This bad habit can cause chips and cracks in your teeth and even cause you to lose a tooth. Biting your nails can also cause gum recession which leads to gum disease and tooth loss. If your nails are bitten down to the quick, this can result in a painful infection in the soft tissues of the mouth. If you bite your fingernails, it is important to stop as soon as possible. Talk to your dentist about other solutions to help you break the habit.

  • Using teeth to open packages

If you have a habit of using your teeth as a tool to open a package, this may be bad news for your oral health! Using your teeth as a pry bar can weaken your enamel and lead to fractures and chips. Be sure to keep scissors on hand instead. This habit can also lead to jaw pain due to clenching or tension in the muscles of the mouth. Along with wearing down your enamel, this also puts your teeth at risk of chipping or even cracking when taking out the wrapper of an item. This can lead to the need for restorative dental treatments such as fillings or crowns.

To learn more about good oral care habits, schedule a consultation with Dr. Singh by calling Soos Creek Dental at (253) 631-8241 or visiting our office located at 17615 SE 272nd St, Covington, WA 98042.

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17615 SE 272nd St, Covington, WA 98042

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