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Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Dental Health And Smile

Posted by Century Dental Associates Nov 16, 2022

Good oral hygiene habits are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. These habits include brushing and flossing teeth daily, visiting the dentist regularly, and avoiding bad habits that can put our teeth and gums at risk. Listed below are some of the most common habits that can negatively impact our oral health.

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit that can damage your teeth by causing them to chip or crack. Whenever you bite your nails, you put a lot of pressure on your teeth. Over time, this pressure can cause your teeth to crack or chip or even break them completely. This damage can affect your ability to speak and eat properly if it occurs on your front teeth. As a result, you should keep your fingers busy when you’re bored to stop yourself from biting your nails. Try stress-relieving exercises such as deep breathing meditation and yoga to keep yourself from biting your nails. These exercises can calm your mind and help you relax. You can also chew gum or sugar-free candy to reach for when the urge to bite your nails strikes.

Smoking

Not only is smoking bad for your lungs and heart, but it’s also horrible for your oral health. People who smoke are more likely to develop gum disease and oral cancers. The chemicals in cigarettes will cause your teeth to turn yellow or brown over time from staining them. It will also cause bad breath and an unsightly smile. When you smoke, you expose your teeth to chemicals that can cause yellow discoloration and deep staining. Smoking also causes bad breath and makes your gums more susceptible to gum disease. Plus, it increases your risk for oral cancers. Quitting smoking is the best way to protect your teeth and improve your overall oral health. To get started quitting, meet with your dentist in New York, NY, to determine the best treatment for you.

If you’re a smoker, your dentist in New York, NY, will recommend you quit as soon as possible. They can help you set up a plan to quit, as well as give you helpful tips along the way. If you’ve already started to develop oral health problems, though, your teeth and gums will need some extra help getting healthy again. You may require more frequent cleanings to remove plaque buildup on your teeth and regular fluoride treatments to help prevent tooth decay.

Brushing Too Aggressively

Brushing your teeth too aggressively can cause damage to teeth and gums. The abrasive nature of toothpaste can wear down tooth enamel and can cause gum recession. Gum recession exposes the roots of the teeth to bacteria and plaque, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Tooth sensitivity can also be caused by overbrushing. A sensitive tooth is vulnerable to decay because bacteria can reach the nerve more easily and cause pain. Switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles, or consider using an electric toothbrush. While it can be tempting to brush harder when you have braces, this can actually cause more damage than good. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently removing large pieces of food from your braces before rinsing your mouth and brushing again. Avoid using a hard-bristled toothbrush because it can damage your teeth and gums. 

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is a habit many people have without even realizing it. It can happen at night for the person who sleeps with their mouth open while they’re unconscious, or it can happen during the day while someone is trying to focus or be productive. Sometimes people don’t even realize they’re doing it until they wake up in the morning and find their jaw sore because they’ve been clenching their teeth all night. There are many causes of teeth grinding, but the good news is that it is a habit that can be broken.

The causes of teeth grinding include stress, bad sleeping habits such as mouth breathing, sleep apnea, misalignment of the jaws, and more. The first step to stopping this habit is to find the root cause so it can be treated! One option is to wear a mouth guard at night to protect your teeth from getting worn down from the pressure of grinding on them. There are also other treatments involving therapy and treatment to help reduce stress, as well as relaxation techniques you can try to calm your mind before bed.

If you’ve noticed, you’ve been grinding your teeth lately or if you have any other symptoms of bruxism like headaches, pain in your jaw or around your ear, or even earaches, book a consultation at your dentist’s office right away! They’ll be able to examine your mouth and determine if you’re experiencing any other symptoms that could be caused by bruxism and come up with the best treatment plan for you!

Not Visiting A Dentist Regularly

Many people only visit the dentist when they have a problem. This puts patients at a disadvantage because dentists can identify problems earlier and reduce the risk of permanent damage. This is why it is so important for patients to visit their dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. During these appointments with the dentist in New York, NY, we can remove plaque and tartar buildup that regular brushing cannot reach. We can detect signs of decay or gum disease in their early stages when it is easier to treat. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the importance of these checkups until it is too late. Their oral health has suffered because they did not prioritize preventive care.

Many patients assume that their teeth are healthy because they have had no visible cavities or other damage. What they fail to realize is the amount of damage that is happening below the surface of the teeth and gums. As bacteria in plaque erodes away tooth enamel, the gums also recede from the teeth. This leaves the roots of the teeth exposed and leaves them vulnerable to infection. The only way to detect this type of problem is through an annual professional cleaning. These appointments with the dentist in New York, NY, are also the perfect time to discuss any fears or concerns that patients have about their teeth or smile. We can recommend ways to improve the patient’s oral health and provide more cosmetically pleasing results.

Regular visits allow patients to stay in control of their dental health by catching problems while they are still small and treatable. If patients are struggling with dental anxiety and feel that they are not able to complete treatment without sedation, contact our office in New York, NY, right away to schedule an appointment. Our team would be happy to work with you.

To learn more, visit Century Dental Associates at 111 John St., Lobby, New York, NY, 10038, or call (212) 587-3000. Our dentist is your best resource for a recommendation that will allow you to achieve a healthy smile! 

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