Good dental habits can play a huge role in the health of your teeth and gums, as well as improve your overall health and well-being. Conversely, there are plenty of bad habits which can be devastating to your teeth and oral health.
Many of us engage in bad habits almost unconsciously, and we may not even recognize some of the things we do as bad or harmful. Unlike obviously destructive habits like smoking or excessive drinking, the kinds of habits that can wreak havoc on your teeth don’t come with a warning from the Surgeon General.
Take a few seconds and think about whether you engage in any of these four teeth-wrecking behaviors, because if you do, you should go about changing these habits ASAP:
- Chewing ice. When you need to break up ice for a smoothie or frozen beverage, what do you typically use? A blender, with it’s razor-sharp, rapidly spinning blades. That’s because ice is hard, and breaking ice takes a lot of force and friction. When you chew on ice, you are setting up a battle between two extremely hard surfaces. While the ice may lose more often than not, it can wear down the enamel on your teeth and eventually lead to your teeth losing the war, suffering cracks and other serious damage. Hold the ice next time you have a drink or use a straw to discourage you from digging into the ice.
- Nail biting. A nervous habit for many of us, especially when we’re younger, nail biting is not only unseemly, it is also unhealthy for your teeth and gums. Nail biting can lead to chips or cracks in teeth, splinters in enamel, and may cause teeth to shift out of place. Regularly trimming your nails or applying a bitter-tasting paint or nail polish to the nails can help ween you from this habit.
- Brushing too hard. Sometimes our enthusiasm gets the best of us, or we think that brushing extremely hard means that we are getting more of the bad stuff off of our teeth and gums and out of our mouths. The truth is that brushing too hard can wear down your teeth enamel, irritate your gums, and make your teeth sensitive to cold. If you are prone to overly vigorous brushing, try a soft-bristled ADA-approved toothbrush which is firm enough to do the job but soft enough to avoid damage
- Teeth grinding or jaw clenching. These habits are often the result of stress and can be particularly insidious because they often occur in our sleep. They can put a lot of pressure on the gums and jaw structure and can also result in fractures and micro-fractures in your teeth. Find a way that works for you to address and reduce any stress or anxiety in your life
Assure A Smile: Your Partners in Health
At Assure A Smile in Miami, we partner with our patients to help them develop healthy, natural, and effective oral hygiene habits as part of an overall wellness strategy and holistic healthcare approach. To learn more about the importance of holistic dentistry and how to develop healthier habits for a better you, please contact us today at 305-274-0047.