A Dentist Shares 5 Bad Dental Habits to Break If You Want Better Oral Health

A Dentist Shares 5 Bad Dental Habits to Break If You Want Better Oral Health

Bad habits are hard to break. You’ve probably heard that saying before, and it’s true, but it’s not impossible. With bad habits come negative effects on your mouth and body, whether it is smoking, chewing on pens and pencils, or grinding your teeth, they all can lead to serious consequences. If you want to take back your oral health today, a dentist in Tracy shares 5 bad dental habits you should immediately break.

Give Up the Tobacco

If you’re tired of the bad breath, stained teeth, and inability to breathe properly, maybe you should consider throwing away that pack of cigarettes. Smoking can cause lifelong problems that can affect everything from your teeth to your lungs. If you want an aesthetically pleasing smile and breath that doesn’t have people standing 20 feet away, you’ll find a solution that will help you kick the habit. From over-the-counter kits to support groups, give up the habit today.

Teeth Are Not Tools

How many times have you opened a bag with your teeth? Maybe you enjoy chewing on pens or pencils? Whatever your vice may be, it’s time to stop. First and foremost, teeth are not tools. They are meant to eat with and that’s it. Opening items and chewing on inanimate objects can cause harm to your pearly whites, including chips, breaks, cracks, and increased wear and tear. Over time, this can lead to necessary dental work to fix these problems, which means more money out of your pocket.

Opt for sugarless gum if you find yourself reaching for that pencil, and make sure to keep scissors nearby, so you can use the proper tools when opening items around your house.

Grinding and Clenching Are Not the Answer

Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as Bruxism, is a common disorder among children and adults. Whether caused by bite alignment problems or stress, it can be damaging to your teeth. Jaw pain, headaches, and excessive wear and tear on your teeth can be the result of grinding and clenching, which is why your dentist in Tracy can be a great asset. To prevent TMJ, gum recession, structural tooth loss, or broken teeth, you will need to wear a mouthguard to keep your teeth from coming into contact with each other.

Brush Smarter, Not Harder

A soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle hand are all you need to effectively brush your teeth. Some people think if you brush harder you’re removing the bacteria and food particles more thoroughly. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. What is actually happening is you are damaging your teeth and gums. To prevent increased harm, try talking to your dental team about proper tips and techniques, which should include:

  • Using fluoride toothpaste
  • Tilting your brush to a 45-degree angle to reach all surfaces
  • Using a soft-bristled brush and circular motion
  • If possible, an electric toothbrush can make the process easier

Pass on the Cookies and Chips

While foods containing sugar and starch may taste good, they are often the most harmful to your teeth and gums. Why? Because if these are left on your teeth, it can break down your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay or gum disease over time. This is not to say that you should completely avoid some of the sweeter and savory snacks you enjoy, but it’s important that you limit your consumption and remember to brush your teeth immediately after you’re finished eating. This will decrease the likeliness for problems to develop.

Don’t let bad habits keep you from a beautiful smile. Make adjustments and if necessary, talk to your dentist about ways you can eliminate these bad habits from your daily life. In turn, you’ll begin to notice an improvement in your oral health, and your teeth and gums will thank you.

About the Author

Dr. Tejdeep (TJ) Rattan earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Wright State University, in addition to an MBA in Management. He then chose to pursue a doctoral degree at the NYU College of Dentistry. Dr. Rattan believes in the importance of preventive care, which is why he encourages his patients to maintain good oral hygiene at home, in addition to eliminating bad habits that can impact your oral health. To learn more about how Dr. Rattan can help you have healthier teeth and gums, contact us via the website or by calling 209-207-9076.