Daily Habits That Negatively Impact Your Oral Health
As human beings, it is common to pick up certain behaviors that become a great part of our everyday life. The behaviors can be both good and bad and we routinely perform them either consciously or unconsciously. When it comes to oral care, any repetitive behavior that involves your mouth does have an effect on your oral health. Therefore, if you constantly engage in harmful habits, your oral health will be negatively affected. So, as a preventive dental care action, it is good to know some of the harmful habits and how they affect the health of your mouth.
Common Bad Oral Habits
Your oral health is greatly influenced by your lifestyle and daily activities. This could be anything from how you care for your teeth, what you eat to how you choose to use your teeth. As a proactive approach preventive dentistry requires patients to be well informed on dental care, and thus they can avoid some of the following harmful habits.
Teeth Clenching and Grinding
Unfortunately, most people that grind or clench their teeth are hardly aware they are doing it. The condition is triggered by stress and anxiety and tends to happen during sleep. Other causes for teeth clenching and grinding could be sleep apnea or a bite problem. It is medically referred to as bruxism and if left to persist can damage your teeth and cause other complications such as TMD and TMJ disorders. If you suspect that you grind teeth, consult your dentist and you will be given a mouthguard to protect the teeth. The underlying cause will also be established and necessary action taken to help you break the habit.
Using Teeth as Tools
Your teeth might be strong but this does not give you permission to go ahead and abuse them. If you have a habit of using your teeth to open bottles or tear objects, then you risk damaging them. Your teeth could break, fracture or loosen up. Learn to use your teeth for the intended purpose if you want to maintain a healthy and attractive smile.
This habit is common among infants and toddlers that use it to soothe themselves. It however may continue even after the child grows older and persist into the teenage and adult years. This could interfere with the development and alignment of both primary and permanent teeth causing problems such as an open bite and overbite. Prolonged thumb sucking can also affect the jaw and the shape and roof of your mouth.
Failure to Brush and Floss Correctly
Good oral hygiene is the first step in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It helps in the prevention of dental caries and gum disease that are the leading causes of tooth loss. Therefore, if you are not brushing and flossing your teeth correctly, you are jeopardizing your oral health. Through your regular dental check-ups, your dentist will demonstrate the correct brushing and flossing technique. This ensures that you effectively clean your teeth and also that you do not injure or harm yourself in the process.
Smoking and use of Tobacco products is not just harmful to your lungs but also impacts your oral health. It leads to severe discoloration and bad breath among its users. Heavy smokers also tend to develop low bone density in the jaw and be at an increased risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting smoking can do a lot of good to both your oral and overall health.
Consuming Too Much Sugary and Acidic Foods
Sugary foods promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth that leads to tooth decay. Consider cutting back on your consumption of sugary foods an drinks or eliminating them completely from your diet. Instead replace them with nutritious foods that promote good oral health like those rich in calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C.
Just like with sugar, when you consume too much of acidic foods, you risk damaging the tooth enamel. If you must eat these foods, make sure to follow up by properly brushing and flossing your teeth. Also make a conscious effort to eat healthy, to keep your mouth and overall body health.
To discover healthy dental habits or get dental preventive care services, visit Milestone Family Dentistry for a consultation.