Are You Ruining Your Teeth With These Common Bad Habits?

Your teeth are extremely important to your overall health, from functionality like being able to chew food and speak clearly to psychological effects like self-confidence or self-esteem. When you engage in bad oral habits, you can cause damage to your teeth, potentially ruining your smile.

At Orangecrest Family Dental in Riverside, California, Dr. Sheida Mohammadizadeh can check your teeth and gums for signs of damage caused by bad habits, and help you plan to break those habits and protect your teeth. If necessary, she can recommend cosmetic dentistry services to restore your smile.

Bad habits you can break

You can help protect your smile by breaking the following bad habits:

Snacking on sugary foods or drinks

Sugar left on your teeth and acids produced when you eat can cause damage to your enamel and cavities in your tooth. Once there is a hole in your tooth, bacteria has an easy route to the tooth pulp. Infection can cause severe pain and may require you to get a root canal.    

Cutting down on snacking on these items can help reduce the chances of damage to your teeth:

Skip the late-night snack, or if you do snack, brush and floss after. If you are out, swish water in your mouth after eating or drinking to rinse your teeth and gums. 

Harsh oral hygiene routines

Brushing and flossing may feel like a chore, but it’s necessary. Sometimes trying to get through your oral routine quickly and effectively leads to brushing too hard. You might also be using abrasive tooth cleaners or a stiff-bristled toothbrush. Being rough with tooth-brushing can cause your tooth enamel to degrade, and irritate your gums. Use a soft-bristled brush, a smooth fluoridated toothpaste, and brush in gentle circular patterns for two minutes instead.

Using your teeth as a tool

Don’t use your teeth to twist off bottle caps or try to pry something apart. Also, try not to chew on non-food items, like pens or eyeglasses stems. Don’t bite open packages with your teeth, or try to scrape at things with your teeth. When biting hard foods, use your molars, and avoid crunching on ice.

Adding piercings

Tongue or lip studs may look cool, but they can also knock constantly against your teeth, causing cracks in your tooth enamel. If they abrade your gums, you can end up with infections that can lead to tooth loss and even bone erosion in the jaw.   

Skipping the mouthguard

Mouthguards may look uncool, but if you play sports or grind your teeth at night, you need to wear yours religiously. Your mouthguard can protect your teeth on the field, and a nightguard can stop you from clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism) at night.  

A thorough, professional cleaning and examination twice a year can help spot and avert oral health problems as soon as possible. Contact our office at 951-381-2401 to request an appointment. 



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