Stop These 10 Habits for a Healthy Mouth

Stop These 10 Habits for a Healthy Mouth

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People are creatures of habits. What we do in our everyday lives comes from the habits we develop throughout the years. These repetitive behaviors can make or break us.

Unfortunately, habits are hard to change. They come to us naturally; replacing bad habits with good ones takes commitment, understanding, and willpower.

The same goes for our oral health. Since infancy, we have developed habits that contribute to our current oral health, such as thumb sucking, nail-biting, and how often we brush our teeth. They reflect how well we have taken care of our teeth so far.

Most bad oral habits are formed unintentionally. However, these pose a threat to your overall health. They can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease, where treatment costs a lot of money and stress.

Some examples of bad oral habits that you need to get rid of are:

1. Biting Nails

Considered a nervous habit, biting nails chips your teeth and puts pressure on your jaws. This habit also spreads bacteria and other organisms from your nails into your mouth and can make you sick.

2. Brushing Too Hard

When you brush your teeth aggressively, you are damaging your teeth rather than cleaning them. Overbrushing irritates the gums and mucosal lining of your mouth, which then causes gums to recede, destroying the enamel and making your teeth sensitive. Avoid toothbrushes with sensitive bristles, and remember to be gentle with your strokes.

3. Chewing Ice

Munching on ice might feel good during hot weather, but your teeth suffer big time. Ice damages tooth enamel and dental fillings and chips your tooth. Any one of these can leave your teeth vulnerable to more dental issues.

4. Clenching and Grinding Teeth

Bruxism is a habit that damages your jaw and fractures your teeth by wearing down enamel. When your enamel gets damaged, your teeth become more vulnerable to decay and cause joint and jaw pain.

5. Frequent Snacking

Eating sugary food or drinking soda several times a day increases your risk of getting cavities and plaque that damages your teeth and gums. Frequent snacking turns your mouth into an acidic environment where the acid weakens the enamel. Saliva is released and acts as a neutralizer each time you eat. However, the time it takes for saliva to regenerate is slow; there might not be enough saliva when snacking too much. Teeth and enamel gets damaged, and cavities start to develop.

6. Drinking Alcohol

Frequent heavy drinking leads to eventual tooth loss by increasing plaque buildup and reducing saliva production, which leads to a dry mouth.

7. Using Them as Tools

Using your teeth as a tool to cut things and to open containers will crack and damage your teeth. It also injures your jaw and can undo any dental work you may have had on your teeth.

8. Using Them to Hold Things

This is a no-brainer, but yes, anything you put into your mouth that is not supposed to be there could cause damage to your teeth. When you chew pens or pencils, suck toothpicks, and hold or pick things up using your teeth, you put too much pressure on your teeth and increase the risk of damaging them.

9. Smoking

Smoking not only gives you oral and lung cancers, but also bad breath, tooth discoloration, tooth decay, and gum disease. Smoking is not good for your oral health and health in general.

10. Thumb Sucking

Infants usually do this to find relief. But, if they continue until they are 5 to 6 years old, it can affect the growth of permanent teeth and alter jaw structure.

These bad oral hygiene habits may already be part of your daily life, but their consequences are always painful and costly. Choose to stay away from them and start living with a healthy mouth.

What Does a Healthy Mouth Look Like?

The gums are pink and firm to touch. Teeth are not wiggly or loose, straight, properly aligned, and without cavities. The tongue is pink, smooth, and clean. Oral tissues are pink, firm, and moist. And, of course, the absence of bad breath!

Look at the mirror and examine your mouth. Do you have the characteristics of a healthy mouth? Do you find yourself guilty of the previously mentioned bad oral habits? If you are, it is time to break them. It may not be easy but understanding what it can do makes things less difficult.

Break These Habits Effectively

Should you need some advice from a dental expert on how to break these habits effectively, or if you need your oral health thoroughly checked, we at Century Dental are here for you. Our dentists in nearby Treasure Island, FL, care for you and your family and provide comprehensive dental services. Call us up at 727-367-3313 and schedule an appointment.

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