5 Habits That Impact Your Oral Health

There are some bad habits that we all know are not good for your teeth (sipping sugary drinks and chewing tobacco are some examples), while others may not seem to be such a big deal. Below are some common habits that are not only impacting your oral health and smile, but are habits that your dentist can easily detect when looking in your mouth!

1. Nail biting

The front teeth of nail biters are generally flat and show signs of grinding from the impact of the nail on the teeth over time. Nail biting can present other health issues in addition to the grinding away of your teeth, such as bacteria from the hands and infection from broken skin. Consider introducing an alternate way to keep your hands busy when the urge to bite occurs or if appropriate, get a manicure in order to discourage biting.

2. Thumb sucking

Thumb sucking as a child pushes the front teeth out and can impact the bite in the long term. Fortunately, your dentist or orthodontist can fix these issues.

3. Not flossing regularly

Swap this habit with a good one–flossing! A good flossing right before the dentist isn’t enough to trick them into thinking you’ve been flossing every day for the previous six months! Not flossing can lead to gum bleeding and sensitivity, increased risk of gum disease, and more plaque build-up.

4. Chewing on ice

This habit may seem rather harmless– it has no calories or sugar, right? Ice is extremely hard and just one wrong bite can chip or break a tooth. Don’t risk causing a dental emergency.

5. Soda or sweet treats

Sipping soda or sucking on candies is the worst way to satisfy your sweet tooth, at least for the health of your teeth! The sugary residue just builds up in your mouth all day. We all need a sweet fix from time to time, but stick to something easily consumed in one sitting, then brush afterwards rather than letting that sugar linger in your mouth. Your teeth will thank you, and as a bonus, you are less likely to have foul breath!

About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)

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