Identifying Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Smile

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You likely learned very young that brushing, flossing, and rinsing are essential for a healthy smile. These rituals that you learned as a child become habits, a normal part of your daily routine.

While good habits are easy to identify, it’s just as easy to overlook some of the not-so-healthy habits that could damage your teeth and gums. Recognizing and overcoming potentially damaging practices will help protect your smile.

Recognizing Potentially Risky Oral Habits

Teeth are quite strong, but still susceptible to damage. There are a significant number of bad habits that can cause significant wear, tooth fractures, and gum injury. While many of these habits seem fairly harmless, it’s important to realize they can cause a significant amount of dental damage. To reduce your risk of dental injury, consider avoiding the following habits:


Vigorous Brushing

You should never use an excessive amount of force when brushing your teeth. Using too much pressure abrades tooth enamel and irritates Damaged enamel contributes to tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, and can cause your gums to recede.


Brushing Too Soon

Brushing too soon after indulging in foods or beverages containing citric acid can damage your teeth. Citric acid softens tooth enamel. Brushing too soon can cause excessive wear. Waiting 20 to thirty minutes before brushing allows time for the soften enamel to remineralize.


Tobacco Use

Dulling the brightness of your smile with tobacco stains is not the only consequence of smoking. Tobacco use can cause tartar to accumulate below your gum line and stress your immune system. The combined effects increase your risk of cavities and gum disease.


Nail Biting

Biting your nails can wear down the enamel protecting your teeth. Worn enamel increases your risk of cavities and tooth sensitivity. Repetitive nail biting can also cause a significant amount of stress on your jaw, contributing to the jaw and facial pain.


Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercings can damage teeth in several ways. The jewelry itself can erode tooth enamel or chip your teeth. This damage leaves you more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity. The pressure of a piercing against your teeth could also cause them to shift.


Chewing Ice

The direct contact between your teeth and cold temperatures causes tooth enamel to expand and contract. This often causes microscopic cracks in tooth enamel that expand over time. Chewing ice can also damage dental restorations.

Your Dentist Can Identify Early Signs of Damage

You may also be jeopardizing your oral health if you play sports without a mouthguard, grind your teeth, clench your jaw, or use your teeth as a tool to open packages, remove tags from clothing, or open bottles. By scheduling regular dental examinations, your dentist has the opportunity to address the visible signs of damage and help you identify the potential causes.

For family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and emergency dental services in Oceanside, CA, contact North Coast Dental Excellence. We offer the latest in dental technology and strive to make every dental visit a pleasant experience.