In your childhood, your parents have always taught you about brushing your teeth in order to preserve and take care of your mouth. The routine they taught you may have included brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing after every meal, and going to the dentist for dental checkups. Over time, you were able to incorporate this routine into your daily life. However, as you grew up, you’ve also started doing certain habits that may adversely affect your oral health.
Some habits are done out of boredom, to cope with stress, or simply because they make you happy. Unfortunately, the longer you keep doing these habits, the more damage they can bring to your teeth and overall oral health. So as early as today, you need to start breaking away from these habits and save yourself from expensive dentist bills and painful oral health problems.
With that said, here are seven bad oral health habits you need to break immediately:
- Biting Nails
One of the most prevalent bad oral habits that people of any age often practice is biting their nails. Nail-biting may seem like a harmless habit, which only targets your nails. Some people do this unconsciously when they feel anxious or stressed. Others also bite their nails out of boredom. Unfortunately, nail-biting can bring negative impacts to your overall health.
First, frequent nail-biting may lead to jaw dysfunction due to the simultaneous pressure your jaw exerts when trying to bite your nails off. Second, many germs and bacteria live under your fingernails. These germs can easily travel into your mouth every time you bite your nails. As a result, it can cause several health issues such as infections, irritations, and even throat canker sores. You can check healthcare sites for more additional info about throat canker sores and how they can affect your overall health. Lastly, nail-biting can cause chipped teeth and teeth misalignment.
You can break this habit by using bitter-tasting nail polish to discourage you from biting them again. You can also ask your doctor for other methods in case this trick doesn’t work for you.
- Eating Or Chewing Ice
Some people love chewing ice, as it’s almost the same as sipping cold water or eating tasteless and sugar-free ice cream. However, eating or chewing ice will only put your teeth at risk of being cracked, damaged, and chipped off due to the ice’s frozen and rugged exterior. Moreover, chewing ice can also negatively trigger the tissues around your teeth, which most people know as “brain freeze.”
- Brushing Too Hard
Your dentist may have recommended you to brush your teeth twice a day for optimal oral health. However, brushing them too hard will only put all that hard work to waste. Instead of cleaning your teeth, brushing too hard will only irritate your gums, wear down your teeth, leaving them more at risk for more dental health problems. When brushing your teeth, treat it as a massage instead of a scrub.
- Using Teeth As Tool
For some, using their teeth as a tool to open items is an impressive skill and a nifty party trick. But for others watching the trick, it’s only painful to watch. For starters, your teeth’s primary function is to break down your food. In short, it’s not a good idea to try and repurpose your teeth for other functions such as opening a bottle, ripping off a price tag, or tearing open a bag of chips.
Using your teeth as the tool will only weaken your teeth and lead to fractures, cracks, chipped edges, or, worse, loosen them. As much as possible, never use your teeth as a tool and leave the dirty work to the appropriate tools such as knives, scissors, and bottle openers.
- Eating Sugary Gummies And Candies
Frequently binge-eating with sugary treats like gummies and sugar-coated candies can cause tooth decay. These treats, especially gummies, may tend to stick to your gums or teeth for longer periods. The longer they stay there, the more they can affect your oral health by producing cavities and leading to tooth decay.
This hard-to-quit habit is notorious for causing serious health problems to different organs of your body, and that includes your teeth. Using tobacco products can cause stained yellow teeth, bad breath, a receding gum line, and, eventually, tooth loss. Moreover, tobacco is also known to cause oral cancer, targeting your mouth, lips, or tongue. So if you’re looking for another reason to stop this habit, think about losing multiple teeth.
- Wearing Tongue Or Lip Piercings
One popular body accessory nowadays is a tongue or lip piercing. While they may look cool, these tiny pieces of jewelry can put you at risk for oral health accidents. Your tongue or teeth could accidentally bite them down, which could lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Moreover, the metal could also accidentally rub against your gums, which may cause gum irritation and infections.
Getting over this list of bad oral health habits should be your priority to achieve optimal oral health. Following your oral hygiene routine and breaking off from these bad oral habits should work to keep your teeth and gums healthy and preserve your beautiful smile. If you’re having problems quitting one or more of these habits, don’t hesitate to consult your dentist anytime.