When you have a bad habit, it’s always difficult to drop it. To take good care of your teeth, you should be developing the right dental habits like brushing and flossing.
But what if you have a lot of the bad? Well, then you have to stop. I mean, you really don’t have a choice, do you? Just so you know what these bad habits are, here are some of them.
1. Excessive Intake Of Acidic Foods And Drinks
You may not them, but your citric fruits and juices, drinks with lots of grape and lime and fizzy drinks contain tons of organic acids that are not good for your teeth.
The acids in these beverages cause what’s known as acid erosion, where the outer enamel layer of your teeth gradually thins because of increased exposure to acid attack.
Your mouth has its own natural way of fighting enamel attack by bathing the enamel in rich nutrients present in saliva. But when the rate of breakdown exceeds that of the formation, the effect of enamel acid erosion would be very clear.
When your enamel erodes, the dentin that houses most of the nerves and blood vessels of the region is exposed, leading to tooth sensitivity and causing pain. The teeth also become discolored.
So look at those acidic drinks and go learn about more so you’d watch your consumption of these products.
2. Grinding And Clenching Teeth
If you have a lot to do during the day without enough time for yourself making you feeling stressed, it’s possible that’s what’s causing your grinding.
Teeth grinding can also be caused by anxiety, missing teeth and disorders like sleep apnea.
The amazing thing about grinding is that, it’s one habit you may not even think you’re guilty of.
Most people who grind their teeth get to know from their roommates, that’s because it’s a habit that’s developed unconsciously so you really can’t recognize it while you’re doing it.
But there are other ways to know if you grind your teeth at night. If you’re always waking up with jaw and muscular pains and headaches then you’d want to see the dentist to run a few checks.
Grinding can loosen your jaw bones causing gum recession and difficulty in opening the mouth.
You may need a mouthguard that’s made to fit your mouth and possibly stress counseling to get advice on how you can deal with stress.
If you have any fractured or cracked tooth from grinding, your dentist may speak with you about bridges, crowns and implants.
Overbrushing is another bad habit but there are many things that constitute overbrushing.
Are you using a toothbrush with hard bristles? An abrasive toothpaste? Are you brushing more times than necessary? Like five or six times a day? Are you brushing for more minutes than necessary? And I mean anything more than 2 minutes. Then you’re overbrushing!
Overbrushing causes cavities in the neck of the tooth called abrasion cavities. Treatment of these cavities usually involves a dental filling procedure.
And it also causes gum recession. That’s just for starters though, as things can get so bad you’d get bleeding gums or other dangerous dental infections.
Your dentist may recommend a surgery to correct the recession problem.
So get a toothbrush with soft bristles, and an ADA recommended toothpaste. You’d normally see the ADA seal on such pastes.
You can also get an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and a timer to warn you when you’re applying too much pressure or brushing for more than the recommended time.
4. Using Non-fluoridated Toothpaste
There’s this new craze in the dental industry over non-fluoridated toothpaste caused largely by negative advertising directed at the effects of large amounts of fluoride on the body.
These advertisers are actually right, but they’re telling just a little part of the story.
Large doses of fluoride are very toxic causing problems like fluorosis where there are yellowish patches on the teeth.
But the concentration of fluoride in the toothpastes that include them are in minimal amounts that are very fit for the teeth.
Fluoride helps remineralize the enamel, improving its structure and making it more resistant to bacterial acid attack.
Tooth decay patients are even advised to introduce fluoride to their water to help boost recovery.
So go get that fluoridated toothpaste.
There are just too many pamphlets and commercials on the dangers of smoking. I mean even the cigarette pack itself has a little note reading that smokers are liable to die young.
But let’s concentrate on oral health. Does smoking affect it? Of course, it does. When smoking, it passes the teeth and gums before getting into the body so that’s something to look at.
The chemicals used in the production of cigarette increase the production of bacterial plaque in your mouth which would attack your teeth and gums.
Smoking affects the proper functioning of the lungs so smokers have low levels of oxygen in their blood which means the metabolic rate would be reduced so gum injuries won’t heal as fast as they should.
That’s dangerous for someone with bleeding gums. The increased plaque on your teeth just means you’d be at more risk to get cavities than someone who doesn’t smoke.
Smokers have bad breath too. The chemicals released in smoke end up being deposited in your mouth causing bad breath.
Smoking also discolors your teeth because the enamel absorbs some of the nicotine content in smoke giving it a yellowish brown color.
And if you’ve not heard, smokers are at greater risk of suffering oral cancer than those who don’t.
So search for a plan on quitting smoking and stick to it.
6. Staying Dehydrated
Are you losing lots of water and refusing to replace it? Then that’s bad for your oral health. Dehydration causes what’s known as dry mouth.
It can be caused by drugs known as diuretics that increase the rate of urine excretion, reducing water content in the body.
It affects saliva production, and remember that saliva is the body’s natural mouthwash, it bathes the teeth in a watery nutrient-filled fluid, mineralizing the enamel and removing plaque-forming food particles.
Just drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is enough to fight your dehydration problems. If that doesn’t work, check with the dentist to ensure you’re not on any medication that’s making you dehydrated and you aren’t suffering from any condition that’s affecting you.
7. Ignoring The Symptoms
And it’s not just about oral health, you shouldn’t ignore the symptoms that have to do with your overall health too.
If there’s anything strange you’ve noticed about your teeth, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you need to get to the root causes.
But what if you don’t know the symptoms to look for?
Look at some of them:
Bleeding gums are a strong indicator of gingivitis, and that’s just where it all starts.
That’s because untreated gingivitis causes periodontitis which loosens the jaw bones, making some of the teeth to fall out.
Gingivitis is a clear sign that you haven’t been taking care of dental plaque on your teeth, so they’ve grown to the level where they get to inflame the gums.
Bleeding gums is also an indicator of malnutrition as the vitamins that help in the activation of clotting factors are deficient and it has also been linked to oral cancer.
…Or chipped and misaligned teeth. Misaligned teeth cause food particles to get stuck in little spaces between the teeth and these particles serve as food to oral bacteria.
So brushing and flossing can’t fight plaque formation and you become vulnerable to tooth decay.
Getting in contact with a dentist for a straightening procedure to be carried out would go a long way.
Other symptoms you shouldn’t also ignore are bad breath and tooth sensitivity.
Bottom line: If something’s not right with your teeth, it doesn’t pay to be silent about it.
8. Brushing Without Flossing
Brushing helps fight dental plaque and bad breath. It’s a ritual you can’t avoid if you’re interested in maintaining proper oral health. That’s all correct.
But brushing is just a part of the formula. You’d get to 85% of your inner and outer teeth with brushing, but what of the remaining 15%?
You think it doesn’t matter? The little spaces between your teeth that the toothbrush can’t get into can serve as breeding ground for dental plaque.
That’s why you need to combine brushing with flossing. Flossing gets into those gaps your toothbrush can’t.
9. Poor Diet
Dental plaque demineralizes the tooth enamel, remember? But your teeth has a way of fighting back. It’s called remineralization.
Teeth remineralize with a good diet by increasing the concentration of the very essential nutrients in saliva. Nutrients like Calcium and Vitamin D.
But if you’re on a poor diet, your body isn’t going to get enough of these nutrients so they’d be nothing to feed your saliva with.
You can get these nutrients by consuming large amounts of milk and other dairy products.
Oral health has a lot to do with the choices you make, so stop making these wrong decisions.