Habits That Are Harmful for Your Smile

June 4, 2020

Woman biting her nails

There’s more to taking care of your teeth than regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dental provider. Avoiding damaging habits is also extremely important to maintain and protect the integrity of your smile. As difficult as they can be to break, doing so can increase the longevity and overall health of your teeth. Continue reading to learn more about which bad habits you should be avoiding from your cosmetic dentist in Carrollton.

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing twice a day is one of the best things you can do for your dental health. However, brushing too aggressively can be harmful for your gums and the enamel of your teeth. Be sure to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush carefully. It should feel light against your teeth and not cause any gum redness.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

You shouldn’t use your teeth for things they aren’t meant for. Using them to open packaging and containers leaves them vulnerable to damage.

Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth

This habit is extremely difficult to break because it is often linked to stressful situations or occurs while you sleep. Jaw clenching can cause lockjaw and cracked teeth. Grinding can wear the enamel down on the chewing surface of your teeth. This leaves them more vulnerable to decay. If you think you may have this problem, talk to your dentist. He or she can discuss the option of getting a custom-made mouthguard to protect against bruxism.

Biting Your Nails

This is a common habit, especially for kids. Nail biting increases the chances of cracking or chipping your teeth. It also exposes you to all of the bacteria living underneath your fingernails, increasing the likelihood of making you ill. To resist the temptation, try cutting your nails short, painting your nails with a bitter polish, or investing in a manicure.

Chewing on Hard Objects

Your teeth have the purpose of chewing your food so you can eat. Biting on items like pencils, pens, and ice increases your risk of cracking or chipping your teeth. It can also wear down your enamel, making you more vulnerable to tooth decay.

Smoking Tobacco

Smoking has negative effects on almost every part of your entire body, teeth included. Tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco can cause teeth yellowing, loss of jawbone density, gum disease, inflammation of the salivary glands, and oral cancer. Your body can benefit a lot from dropping this harmful habit. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family about the best ways you can quit.

Drinking Sugary and Alcoholic Beverages

An occasional sugary beverage doesn’t usually hurt, but when you make a habit of it, you can see some negative effects. Sports drinks and soda contain acid and sugar that feed bacteria and erode enamel. This significantly increases your chance of developing cavities. Alcoholic beverages contain similar acid and dry out the mouth, leading to similar effects.

Avoiding the Dentist

For a variety of reasons, including dental anxiety and busy schedules, many people avoid their regular visits to the dentist. As much of a hassle as they can be, your regular check-ups are extremely important. If anxiety is the reason for skipping dental appointments, talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry.

It’s important to do everything you can to prevent dental problems before they happen. Breaking bad habits may be difficult, but the benefits of a healthy smile will pay off in the end.

About the Author

Dr. Marc Dandois is a general and cosmetic dentist located in Carrollton, TX. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Dandois offers a wide array of services at his practice and is committed to providing a comfortable experience for all of his patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (972) 394-7007.