5 Habits That Can Harm Your Oral Health

5 Habits That Can Harm Your Oral Health

Posted by Rand Center for Dentistry Oct 21, 2022

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Your oral health can affect your overall well-being. Practicing healthy dental habits can help you maintain good oral health. Listed below are a few habits that can be harmful to your oral health.

  • Brushing too hard

Brushing too aggressively can wear down the tooth enamel and expose the inner layer called dentin. Since dentin is harder than enamel, it can lead to tooth sensitivity and even decay over time. If you experience pain while brushing, you may be brushing too hard. Try using a toothbrush with softer bristles, changing your brushing technique to let up the pressure, or consider an electric brush that does the work for you!

  • Nail biting

Gnawing your nails is a habit that many children and adults engage in without thinking twice about it. Unfortunately, nail biting can be quite damaging to your pearly whites. The teeth you use to chew on your nails are not meant to be used in such a manner. Clasped between your fingers all day, the teeth aren’t able to rest properly, which causes them to recede and become worn over time. This leads to increased tooth sensitivity and even chips or fractures in the enamel. Worse yet, if you accidentally bite down hard enough to break a tooth, it could be more expensive to treat than it would to simply prevent it from ever breaking in the first place!

  • Chewing ice

Chewing ice may seem like an innocent habit that can’t harm your oral health in any way – but think again! In fact, chewing on ice can damage both your tooth enamel and your jaw joint. It can even cause chipped teeth. Many people chew on ice because it temporarily numbs their teeth and gums. But doing this can cause tooth sensitivity and even pain. It can also damage your natural teeth and any dental restorations you may have, including dental crowns or fillings.

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth

Bruxism is the medical condition of grinding and clenching teeth during sleep. It’s typically caused by stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders. Many people who grind their teeth aren’t even aware of it, and many are unaware they have the condition until they’re told by their dentist about signs and symptoms like tooth pain, sensitive teeth, enamel damage, cracked teeth, and broken restorations. This condition can be effectively treated through an oral appliance worn at night to keep the jaw relaxed and muscles relaxed to prevent grinding of the teeth. 

  • Using tobacco

Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of oral cancer and death in the United States. While most smokers are aware of the many negative health effects of smoking, few know about the oral health risks associated with tobacco use. The use of cigarettes and other tobacco products can stain teeth and gums and cause bad breath. However, the biggest risk is oral cancer, which is highly curable when caught early but is deadly if not diagnosed in its initial stages. Many other serious health conditions are commonly associated with tobacco use, including gum disease, tooth loss, and multiple forms of cancer and heart disease. In fact, using smokeless tobacco products has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and mouth cancer. Quitting tobacco use will not only improve your smile but will also improve your overall health!

Our dentists at Rand Center for Dentistry in Flanders, NJ, provide the best dentistry solutions and the best dental care for patients. To learn more and schedule an appointment, call (973) 370-8917.

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