Good oral hygiene is essential for preventing cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. It is the key to keeping your teeth healthy throughout your life. Habits like nail biting, smoking, teeth grinding, and using teeth as tools can damage your oral health. Avoiding these habits can help you maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy smile.
Nail biting is a habit that can affect the health of your teeth. If you bite your nails, you're putting yourself at risk for chipped and cracked teeth. You could also be increasing your chances of developing an infection in your gums or a disease in the soft tissues of your mouth.
Over time, this can lead to tooth loosening and even tooth loss. Your dentist can help repair any damage to your teeth and gums by treating the infected areas. However, preventative care is key. If you want to stop biting your nails, try to break the habit with different methods. You can paint your nails with a bitter-tasting nail polish or reward yourself for quitting, such as buying a new dress or getting a special massage. You can also distract yourself with other activities whenever you feel the urge to bite your nails, like going for a walk or listening to music.
It's no secret that smoking is bad for your teeth, but just how damaging is it? Long-term smokers may be at an increased risk of having gum disease and cardiovascular disease too. Gum disease causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth and form pockets that can become infected or irritated by plaque buildup. This can create additional problems in your mouth as well as make your breath smell bad. Once your gums begin to pull away from your teeth, the tissue and bone structures that support your oral structure will begin to break down as well, potentially leading to tooth loss. Additionally, smoking also increases the risk of oral cancer. Smokers are more likely to suffer from cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. Other common side effects of smoking include bad breath and yellowing of teeth.
If you can quit smoking for the sake of your oral health, you definitely should. You should also consider quitting for other health reasons, such as reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about options and look into treatments that can help you quit.
Some people may brush their teeth with too much force due to a habit known as bruxism or tooth grinding. This can lead to enamel erosion and gum recession due to the abrasiveness of their toothbrush bristles. To combat this harmful habit, consider investing in a soft-bristled toothbrush or a specially designed nightguard to wear at night to protect your teeth.
You can also take steps to reduce your stress level to put a stop to the unconscious clenching of your jaw that occurs while you are asleep. You may also benefit from talking to your doctor about medication that can help reduce the stress in your life.
Teeth grinding is oftentimes called bruxism. This is a bad habit that involves clenching the jaw and grinding the top and bottom teeth together. Many people do this when they sleep or when they are awake but are unaware of it. This habit can lead to damaged teeth, cracked teeth, headaches, and other issues. People who suffer from this often wake up with a headache or a sore jaw. A mouth guard can be used to help protect the teeth from damage caused by tooth grinding. Mouth guards are custom-made to fit over the teeth and can help to prevent damage from teeth grinding. They can be worn during the day or while they sleep at night, depending on the preference of the patient.
When we don't visit the dentist at least once a year for a routine cleaning and checkup, our oral health becomes at risk. If we let our dental problems progress for a long time without treatment, the pain will become unbearable, and the tooth could need extraction. So even if we don't have specific oral problems now, we should still visit our dentist annually to keep up good oral health habits and ensure that there aren't any issues that could develop in the future.
Visit Healthy Smiles of Birmingham at 100 Heatherbrooke Park Dr Suite A, Birmingham, AL 35242 for a wonderful dental experience. Contact us at (205) 991-9535 or schedule an appointment online.