Good oral health is essential for overall health. However, certain habits can damage your teeth, gums, and jaw. Here are some habits that can put your oral health at risk.
Many people bite their nails without even thinking about it. While this isn't necessarily a huge issue for some, it may cause more harm than good for others. Nail biting can chip or crack your teeth and affect your oral health. While stopping the habit may sound daunting, there are things you can do to prevent yourself from biting your nails. Keep your hands busy by carrying around a book or fidget toy. You can also talk to your dentist about other options to make quitting easier. If you've quit nail biting but notice chips or cracks in your teeth, as a result, talk to your dentist. There are many ways we can fix these issues, including bonding material to the tooth to cover up the chip or even veneers for more severe ones.
Ice is cold by nature, which can make it very soothing on sore gums or sensitive oral tissues. However, it's never a good idea to chew on hard substances like ice cubes or even frozen fruit in your smoothie. The hardness of these items can damage your enamel, leading to issues like cavities and tooth decay. Instead of biting on ice, try sipping room-temperature water instead.
Teeth are for chewing food. They are not scissors, bottle openers, or hard candy dispensers. Using them as something other than what they were designed to be can cause chips, fractures, and damage to the tooth enamel. This can lead to cavities as well as the need for restorative dental procedures like fillings, crowns, and root canals. While it may be tempting to use your teeth to bite off a piece of tape, open a package, or crack a nut, it's not worth the damage to your oral health. There are tools available to perform these tasks that are far safer to use. Consider investing in a pair for yourself and discourage your family members from using their teeth for these purposes as well.
Cigarette and tobacco smoking is one of the worst habits for tooth and gum health. Tobacco smoke contains tar and other chemicals that cling to the teeth and gums and can cause tooth decay and periodontal infection. Nicotine in cigarettes also decreases the flow of blood to the gums. This makes it more difficult for the gums to heal after they have been affected by gum disease or oral trauma from an accident. Smokers are at a higher risk of tooth loss than non-smokers. They also have increased risks of calculus buildup on the teeth and an increased risk of oral cancer.
If you need another reason not to smoke or use tobacco products like e-cigarettes, consider this: most health insurance plans will not pay for treatments related to tobacco use. That's one more reason to kick this bad habit for good! If you use tobacco and need help quitting, talk to your dentist about your options for quitting. They may be able to recommend resources to help you quit smoking and can offer advice on how best to care for your teeth as you quit.
Bishop Family Dental, located in Salt Lake City, UT, is equipped with excellent amenities and expert dentists who offer patients the best dental care services. Dial (801) 274-2500 and book an appointment with the dentist to learn more about dental care services and to receive a complete dental checkup.