3 Dental Habits You Should Avoid

There’s plenty of good dental habits you could perform in order to maintain a healthy smile, from brushing your teeth twice a day, to regularly drinking water to give them that extra fluoride boost. However, there are also quite a few bad dental habits you should avoid as well. Believe it or not, these negative habits exist quite frequently, and many patients who perform them don’t even realize the damage that’s being done to their teeth! Here are 3 common dental habits you should avoid for healthier teeth:

1. Chewing Hard Objects

Do you enjoy chewing crushed ice as a refreshment? Do you chew on the end of your pen in thought? If so, you’re actually causing damage to your teeth! Chewing on hard objects such as ice or pens and pencils can gradually wear down the enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth. In addition, chewing hard objects can put some unnecessary stress on chewing surfaces. Eventually, this can lead to chips, cracks, and fractures.

2. Using Teeth as Tools

Do you revert to using your teeth to open small bags or cut fine pieces of string like thread when you don’t have a pair of scissors around? While your teeth may seem like a more convenient option to help you with these tasks, you’re actually putting them through unnecessary stress. Using them as a tool can also weaken them and lead to chips and fractures when done often enough.

3. Grinding Teeth

When you grind your teeth, you wear down your enamel. In addition to a higher risk for chips and cracks, you also become more prone to having pain and discomfort in the jaw. While teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) is often performed without a person’s knowledge—such as during sleep—there are plenty of ways you can prevent it from causing damage to your dental health. For example, by reducing your stress levels, you can prevent the chances of teeth grinding occurring at night. You can also consult Dr. Parker on whether or not dental nightguards are right for you to help protect your teeth! In addition, there are a variety of TMJ treatments that can help reduce jaw pain as a result of teeth grinding.

By eliminating these bad dental habits from your daily life, you can maintain a healthier smile that will last a lifetime!