6 Worst Habits for Your Dental Health

6 Worst Habits for Your Dental Health

Posted by Scott Ferguson Dec 29, 2022

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Good oral habits are important for maintaining your oral health. Practicing bad oral habits can cause a number of dental problems, from cavities and gum disease to tooth damage and tooth loss. Listed below are some common bad habits that can damage your oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Biting down on your nails can do a lot of damage both to your dental health and to your overall health as well. When your teeth are constantly in contact with your fingernails, you run the risk of chipping or cracking a tooth as well as causing discomfort in your mouth. A good habit to get into is to avoid putting yourself in situations where you may bite down on your nails. Consider wearing gloves while cooking. Keep your hands busy when the urge to bite arises by carrying a pair of hair elastics or playing with a stress ball.

  • Smoking

Tobacco products contain nicotine and tar that stain teeth and cause gum disease. They also make your breath smell bad. It also increases your risk of oral cancer. Cigarette smokers are twice as likely to have periodontal (gum) disease compared to non-smokers. And the risk increases with the length of time spent smoking and the number of cigarettes consumed each day. Smokers also have a higher risk of developing oral cancer than people who don't smoke. The risk is even higher for heavy smokers who consume more than 20 cigarettes a day or who have smoked for more than 30 years. People who smoke are more likely to lose more teeth than others. So it's important to quit smoking as soon as possible. Even if you've already lost some teeth to gum disease, quitting can lower your risk for new tooth loss. If you are a smoker with gum disease, ask your dentist about medications that can help control your symptoms. These may include antimicrobial mouth rinses, antibiotics, or prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste or gel. If you've tried these and still can't quit, talk to your dentist about a smoking cessation program to help you kick the habit for good. And remember, many dentists offer treatments to help whiten stained teeth and remove tobacco stains from your teeth. Talk with yours today about how to make your smile shine!

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

While we all brush our teeth at least twice a day, sometimes we do it too forcefully or with the wrong technique. As a result, we can erode the enamel on our teeth and expose the dentin underneath. This is much less resistant to decay and more susceptible to sensitivity and pain. Some patients may even experience tooth sensitivity when eating cold foods and drinks. The enamel is softer than the exposed dentin, so even a soft-bristled toothbrush can do more harm than good if you press too hard. It's critical that we avoid that habit as much as possible in order to protect the health of our teeth.

If you already suffer from sensitive teeth, you may be tempted to brush your teeth even harder in order to alleviate the pain you're experiencing. However, doing so can be highly counterproductive and cause further damage to the teeth. Instead, try using toothpaste for sensitive teeth to reduce the amount of pain you experience and protect your enamel from further damage. Patients can also ask their dentist about fluoride treatments to strengthen and protect their enamel from future damage.

  • Teeth Grinding

Many people grind their teeth or clench their jaw when sleeping or awake without realizing it. This is called bruxism, and it can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. It's essential that you visit your dentist if you suspect you suffer from this habit because he or she can recommend an effective treatment solution. One option is a night guard, which you wear over your teeth while you sleep. This prevents them from coming into contact with each other and ensures your jaw is relaxed. Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth and make a custom night guard for you. 

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Some people use their teeth to crack open nuts or to cut thread. However, this puts tremendous pressure on your teeth which can cause them to break or become fractured. Just as there are scissors made specifically for cutting thread, there are also nutcrackers that you can purchase in your local hardware store. So, avoid the temptation to use your teeth as a tool for opening things, and make sure that you protect your teeth from the unnecessary force by using a tool designed to do the job effectively.

  • Not Visiting A Dentist Regularly

Patients need to visit their dentist at least twice a year for proper cleaning and maintenance of oral health. When you don't visit your dentist for routine checkups and minor treatment, small dental issues can grow into big problems and cause pain and expensive treatments. 

To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (801)-923-1011 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 1838 N 1075 W #100, Farmington, UT 84025, USA.

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Advanced Dental Specialty Group


1838 N. 1075 W Suite 100, Farmington, UT 84025


At Advanced Dental Specialty Group, we strongly suggest that our newer patients properly prepare for their first appointment.

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