Breaking bad habits is easier said than done, but it’s always well worth it. Especially when you consider that some habits can send you to a dentist in Carlisle for unexpected dental work. To prevent oral health problems and avoid painful emergencies, it’s helpful to be aware of 5 common habits that have surprising consequences for your dental health. Want to learn more? Keep reading below!
1. Brushing Too Hard
Many people know how often they should brush but don’t know the best way to brush. While it’s also common to think that brushing harder will do a better job of cleaning your teeth and gums, the truth is that it can cause several serious problems such as gum recession and wearing away at your enamel over time.
Instead, brush for 2 full minutes and use light pressure. The extra time enables you to do a thorough job without damaging your teeth and gums.
2. Not Using an Athletic Mouthguard
If you play sports or engage in recreational activities like skateboarding or cycling, wearing a custom-made mouthguard is strongly recommended. Not only will it prevent soft tissue injuries or knocking out a tooth, but custom-made varieties will also reduce the severity of concussions.
When it comes to wearing an athletic guard, the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more true!
3. Clenching and Grinding
Clenching and grinding puts a huge amount of force on your teeth each night and is incredibly common, especially in our stressful modern-day life. This can lead to multiple problems over time such as chips and fractures as well as sensitivity to chewing or cold temperatures.
Ask a dentist if they notice signs of clenching and grinding during your next checkup. If so, they can make a custom-made nightguard to protect your teeth and prevent these problems from developing.
4. Chewing Or Biting On Non-Food Items
Are you one of the many people with the bad habit of chewing on your fingernails, straws, pens and pencils, or ice? Or do you routinely use your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles? Unfortunately, these are easy ways to damage your teeth by wearing down your enamel or directly causing chips or cracks. Instead, reach for sugar-free gum instead and use either scissors or a bottle-opener.
5. Snacking Too Frequently
You already know that what you eat has an impact on your teeth (e.g. high-sugar foods and beverages). But the frequency with which you eat and drink also makes a big difference. To help you remember not to snack or graze throughout the day, remember the phrase, “Sip all day, get decay.” And if you do want a snack or beverage between meals, enjoy them in one short window of time rather than sipping or nibbling.
By being aware of these 5 bad habits, you can keep your smile in great shape and minimize the amount of dental work you need over the long-term.
About the Author
Dr. Eric Weed is a family dentist in Carlisle and a graduate of the University of Utah. A member of the Pennsylvania Dental Association, American Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry, he combines years of experience with ongoing education to provide outstanding care for patients of all ages. If you have any questions about your oral health habits, he can be reached via his website.