While there are several tips in dental care 101, the real job of protecting and nurturing your teeth lies squarely on you. It is where everyday habits come into play in making or breaking your oral health. So what are the most damaging habits for your teeth, you ask? This article provides insight into the habits that you should change to preserve your natural, white and strong teeth.
Common Damaging Habits That You Should Change ASAP!
Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or not, keeping off these bad habits could go a long way:
- Brushing your gums and teeth too hard
It’s easy to assume that achieving the highest hygienic levels depends on how thorough and hard you are with your teeth cleaning. However, overdoing your brushing can do more harm than good. It is especially true for those who use hard-bristle brushes or press too hard. These can damage your teeth and gums. Using a soft-bristled brush and brushing gently while applying wide strokes is advisable.
- Nail biting
What’s the worst that it could do? It could damage your teeth and jaw. As you bite your nails, you hold your jaw in a protruded position for long, leading to jaw dysfunction. Additionally, this habit can chip your teeth and result in sharp-edged fingernails. If you are really struggling to stop nail biting, you can try and prevent this habit by painting your nails.
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
While this subconscious habit can still cause teeth damage, muscle pain, and limited jaw movement, you can prevent this habit by performing relaxation exercises and getting a nighttime mouth guard to know when the clenching or grinding begins.
- Not flossing your teeth
Flossing is crucial to successfully prevent and clear any plaque in the hard-to-reach sections of the mouth. Dentists recommend flossing daily to remove plaque buildup between the teeth. If possible, you should also use mouthwash. It cleans your mouth, including the teeth spaces, and minimises bacteria on the tongue and gums.
It is not just bad for overall body health but also causes poor oral health. Smoking cigars or cigarettes incorporate nicotine and tobacco substances, which result in unsightly yellow teeth. Moreover, smoke makes the enamel weak, increasing the chances of tooth decay. Inhaling smoke as a daily habit can also lead to bad breath and affect food taste over time. Other smoking risks include gum disease, dry mouth, and oral cancer.
- Abusing your teeth
Our teeth often play roles that go beyond biting and chewing food. Innovative uses include biting open a package. However, using your teeth in place of a pair of scissors endangers your teeth and jaw. Avoid using your teeth as a third hand and get the right tools for every function.
- Consuming staining food substances
Most of the food we eat can negatively affect our teeth’s colour. They include tomato pastes, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, curry, beetroot, and berries. If you can’t avoid them entirely, you can at least eat them occasionally. Taking them daily without observing proper dental hygiene can change your teeth’s colour.
- Taking staining beverages
Tea or coffee? Either way, every sip you take increases your chances of losing dazzling white teeth. Other staining drinks include red wine, fruit juices (especially berry juices), Coca-Cola, and more. Reducing a cup of staining beverage per day and opting for water help preserve your natural teeth colour.
- Not brushing your teeth often
The most obvious tip in teeth care is brushing regularly and thoroughly, but not too vigorously. Brushing for about 2 minutes at least twice a day using the proper toothpaste is recommended. Creating and keeping up with a consistent brushing routine also results in strong, healthy teeth. Inadequate brushing allows plaque to build up and lead to tooth decay.
- Evading the dentist
Preventive dental care can impact your general oral health significantly. Not keeping up with your dental checkup can promote dental issues that could have been prevented in one of your dental visits. Being too busy for appointments can have long-term damage, like tooth loss, so try not to put it off next time!
After learning the most damaging dental habits, it’s time to evaluate what you should avoid from the list. Remember that visiting your dental clinic at least twice a year is highly recommended. Dentists will not only give more personalised dental tips, but they will also promote white, healthy teeth with various techniques to keep you smiling with confidence.
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