Proper oral hygiene is much more than providing a great smile. With good oral hygiene habits, you can protect your enamel and care for your gums. You can also reduce the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Discover habits that could cause dental problems.
Chewing and Biting Foreign Objects
Many people chew something when they want to concentrate on a specific task. Unfortunately, chewing foreign objects exerts excessive pressure on your teeth and can lead to cracking or shifting of the teeth. Also, foreign objects may contain bacteria and viruses that can cause oral infections.
For example, some people chew ice because they want to get a crunching feeling. But ice can cause the teeth to chip and crack. Chipping and cracking are irreversible damages that may lead to the complete loss of the tooth. The solution is to use a straw, go without ice, or crunch on foods such as apples or popcorn.
Another poor habit is nail biting, which can cause the teeth to wear down. In some cases, continual nail biting can cause the jaw to become dysfunctional. Nail biting can put the jaws at an unnatural angle and push the lower jaw away from its normal position.
Tobacco substances are not only dangerous to your overall health but can cause specific dental problems. Smoking can lead to stained teeth and premature tooth loss. The habit can also cause gum diseases that may eventually mutate into periodontal disease. Also, smoking reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth and increases the potential for bad breath.
Not Brushing Properly
The standard practice is to brush teeth at least twice each day and floss regularly. Also, remember to use the correct toothbrush and toothpaste when brushing your teeth. The recommended brush is either a power or electric toothbrush for optimum results. Power or electric brushes stop the buildup of plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes. The brushes have high vibration speeds and can stimulate the gums.
In addition, power and electric toothbrushes are more adept at reaching hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. Remember also that the brush has to be soft so as not to destroy the gum tissues. The best solution is to choose a soft-bristle toothbrush that has a small head.
If you can’t access power or electric toothbrushes, use fluoride toothpaste and carefully brush every part of the mouth.
Sucking on Your Thumb
Sucking the thumb is an instinctive habit in newborns and young children. However, once the child grows their first teeth, the habit can cause alterations to the jaw and tooth structure. A common solution is to find a way to keep your child’s hands busy and give the teeth the space to develop properly.
Clenching or Grinding Teeth
You may grind or clench your teeth without even realizing it, but such a habit can cause extensive damage to the teeth. When you grind the teeth, you may experience muscle pain and problems with jaw movement. A common solution is to engage in relaxation exercises. You can also try a mouth guard when sleeping and try to be more aware of your grinding and clenching habits.
You may believe that toothpicks help you remove debris from the mouth after a meal. However, toothpicks inside your mouth can cause damage to the teeth and gums. Instead, floss your teeth after a meal to get rid of any food debris in the mouth.
Ultimately, the best way to take care of your teeth is to schedule regular visits to the dentist. Accent Dental provides multiple dental services to help keep your teeth in optimum condition. Contact us to get started.