You know that you should brush twice a day and floss at least once a day, and you’re aware of the importance of visiting your dentist regularly. However, there may be some habits you don’t even think about that are detrimental to your oral health.
Dr. Stephen Hiroshige and his staff want you to enjoy outstanding oral health and beautiful teeth, so we encourage you to follow all those good habits. In this post, we talk about some of the things we see that can cause damage but that many people don’t give a second thought.
Use a proper tool
Most everyone has been there: You can’t get the bag of chips open, so you just use your teeth, or you have tape but no scissors, so you use your teeth. Please keep in mind that your teeth are not tools, and using them that way can lead to damage.
Stop biting your nails
Nail biting might seem like more of a nail problem than a tooth problem — or perhaps a hygiene problem — but biting your nails can cause damage to your teeth over time. It isn’t typically the same kind of damage using your teeth like a tool causes. Years of nail biting can result in flattened areas on your teeth or in cracked enamel.
Grinding your teeth
You might do this without realizing it when you’re stressed or asleep, but grinding your teeth can cause real oral health issues. Your teeth may crack, your enamel can be ground away, and it causes excess wear on your teeth. Teeth grinding can also cause headaches.
Chewing on ice, popcorn, and other hard stuff
Do you like to chew up the ice cubes when you finish your drink? How do you feel about unpopped popcorn kernels? Are you a fan of crunching hard candy?
All these things can cause damage to your teeth. Even if you’ve eaten popcorn kernels all your life, as you get older, the habit becomes more dangerous. You risk breaking a tooth when you bite down on hard substances.
Drinking sugary beverages
Do you drink soda? Consuming sweetened beverages on a regular basis is bad for your oral health. Bacteria that cause tooth decay especially love sugar, and drinking a sugary beverage gives that bacteria an opportunity to thrive.
If you want to enjoy an occasional soda, consider using a straw and brushing your teeth afterward. This gives your teeth a bit of protection.
Using the wrong toothbrush or technique
You may be brushing twice a day, but the wrong brush and the wrong technique can do some serious harm. A hard-bristled brush can irritate your gums, so choose a softer bristle instead.
Another common mistake is brushing too hard. You may feel like you need to scrub your teeth, but again, this can cause damage to your gums and lead to sensitivity.
Get good advice
If you’re concerned about your oral health, your regular dental checkup is a great time to ask questions. We’re always happy to provide advice and guidance when it comes to good oral health. Schedule your appointment today, and keep your mouth in tip-top shape.