The Worst Habits for Your Oral Health

How Many of These Do You Do?

Habits can be very challenging to break. But when these habits are detrimental to our health in some shape or form, we should make it a priority to finally put an end to them.

There are a few (relatively common) habits that pose a threat to oral health:

Smoking or chewing tobacco

One of the worst habits, hands down, is smoking or chewing tobacco. Unfortunately, this one is especially hard to quit… but we believe in you! Not only will your oral health significantly improve should you choose to quit, but your overall health will, too (oh, and your wallet will also be thanking you)!

Nail biting

Nail biting increases your risk for chipping, fracture or wear. Your enamel is much better off when it isn’t constantly being put under stress. In addition to this, your fingers and nails carry nasty bacteria that can lead to infections of the mouth and throat. If you’re still finding it difficult to keep those fingers out of your mouth, there are certain techniques that may be able to help you quit – including using a bitter-tasting nail polish that’s designed to halt nail biting.

Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Some people grind their teeth during sleep, and may not even be aware that they do. If you notice your jaw feels tender in the morning, or if you simply grind your teeth a lot out of habit, you may have a bruxism problem. Consult your dentist to explore treatment options, such as a night guard to protect your teeth from any more wear and potentially significant damage.

Frequent sugary snacking/drinking

When the mouth is frequently exposed to sugary foods or substances, the acid levels in the mouth remain high and the teeth are constantly under attack – which could eventually lead to decay. Limit your sweet snacking throughout the day, and try to chew on acid-neutralizing foods such as a piece of cheese after you eat or sip on something sweet. Alternatively, keep sugar-free chewing gum sweetened with xylitol close by to chew in between consumption.

Using the teeth as tools

Using your teeth to twist open a stubborn bottle cap or cut up packing tape may seem like a smart hack at the time, but is actually more risky than you think. Protect your teeth from unnecessary damage and keep your trusty house tools close by, or keep them in multiple rooms for convenience.

Cut it out… seriously!

If you happen to practice any of these harmful habits, we hope we’ve been able to provide you with enough motivation to quit them as soon as you can. Help is always available. Speak with your doctor or dentist if you need some extra support or advice on how to kick your risky routines.

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