Don’t let bad dental habits destroy your smile. You brush, you floss, you visit the dentist. And that’s great, but all that hard work will be for naught if you practice behaviors that actively damage your teeth and gums.
Here are five habits that have the potential to wreck your dental health. Try to keep them to a minimum, and be sure to visit us at Davenport Dental Group every six months for a cleaning and exam.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing your teeth twice every day is good. Brushing your teeth with too much force is definitely not good. While we appreciate your enthusiasm about your dental health, using excessive elbow grease is harmful. While it may very well get rid of any plaque and bacteria hanging out on your teeth, it will also wear down your tooth enamel. This makes you vulnerable to tooth decay and pain. It can also injure your gum tissue, leading to recession, sensitivity as the tooth roots are exposed, and periodontal disease. So always be thorough, but use a gentle hand and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
It’s no secret that smoking and smokeless tobacco use is just plain bad for you. It is harmful for your oral health specifically in a number of ways.
- Tobacco use will discolor your teeth and tongue.
- It causes bad breath.
- Your senses of taste and smell may be dulled.
- Smokers are at a very high risk for gum disease, and theirs tends to be more difficult to treat than non-smokers’ disease.
- Smokers have a increased dental implant failure rate.
- They may have a longer and more difficult recovery from oral surgery.
- They are at an increased risk for oral cancer.
We understand that it’s not easy to quit. But if you think you are ready, here are a few resources from the Centers for Disease Control to get you started.
When you eat, food that remains in your mouth encourages the proliferation of bacteria, which produce acids that wear down your tooth enamel. If you snack throughout the day, your pearly whites are essentially under constant bacterial attack. It’s best to keep your eating to mealtimes to minimize these destructive acid attacks. This goes for sugary or acidic beverages too, like soft drinks (regular and diet), sports drinks, or soda. If you get thirsty, reach for water.
We understand that sometimes you just need a snack. If you do indulge, choose a dental-health-friendly option like cheese, an apple, raw veggies and hummus, or a handful of nuts.
For the sake of your dental health, it’s a good idea to keep booze to a minimum. There is the obvious point that dark drinks like red wine will stain your teeth. But even light-colored alcoholic beverages make you more susceptible to tooth discoloration because they roughen your enamel and enable pigments to adhere better. And alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for oral cancer.
Misusing Your Teeth
Teeth are meant to chew food, period. They are not scissors, nail trimmers, ice crushers, or meant to take the place of tools. Chewing or biting down on non-food objects is a good way to end up with a dental emergency.
End bad dental habits pronto. And keep up the good dental habits, like visiting Davenport Dental Group twice a year for a cleaning and exam. Request an appointment through our online form or call one of our Laredo, TX offices. Call Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695.