February 7, 2020
Are you causing serious damage to your smile every day without even realizing it? Unfortunately, many of us have unconscious habits that weaken our teeth, irritate our gums, and harm our oral health. The first step towards putting a stop to these bad behaviors is to recognize them and understand how they’re impacting your smile. Read on to see if any of your daily behaviors appear on this list of harmful dental habits, and what your Scarborough dentist recommends to protect your smile.
1. Grazing on Sugar Throughout the Day
Many people don’t realize that how often we snack is just as important as how much is consumed. Continuously grazing on chips, cookies, popcorn, soda, and juice provides a steady stream of fuel for the harmful bacteria in your mouth, which increases your chances of cavities. Instead, keep that bacteria in check by drinking more water and choosing healthier options like cheese, carrots, and nuts.
2. Brushing Your Teeth Incorrectly
If you brush your teeth with too much force or use the wrong dental products, you could be doing more harm than good. Hard-bristled toothbrushes, abrasive toothpastes, and over-aggressive brushing can hurt your gum tissue and wear away your enamel. Make sure you’re gently cleaning your teeth with soft-bristled toothbrushes and gentle toothpastes.
3. Using Your Teeth as Tools
When you’re particularly excited to open a gift, bag of chips, or any other container, it may be tempting to rip it open with your teeth. While it may save you a few seconds now, it could cost you time in the dentist’s chair later if you chip or crack a tooth! To curb this bad habit, store scissors, bottle openers, and other helpful tools somewhere you can reach them easily.
4. Chewing on Hard Objects
Unconscious chewing habits can easily develop when we’re anxious, frustrated, or bored. However, chewing on hard objects like ice, pen caps, or fingernails quickly wears down your enamel and weakens your teeth. Additionally, your soft tissues could potentially become injured and infected. If you really need something to chew on, try a piece of sugarless gum or a crunchy apple.
5. Smoking or Chewing Tobacco Products
Smoking or chewing tobacco products will lead to stained teeth, bad breath, and tooth sensitivity, all while drastically increasing your risk of oral cancer. What’s more, tobacco use is also connected to plaque buildup, worsening gum disease, and tooth loss. Tobacco usage is not an easy habit to break, but it is well worth the effort. Your doctor can help you create an actionable plan to quit and point you toward the resources and products that can help your specific situation.
Don’t let a few unconscious behaviors ruin your teeth and your oral health. You can keep your smile happy and healthy by being mindful of your everyday activities and taking steps to break bad habits.
About the Author
At White Willow Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Scarborough, ON, we are dedicated to treating your dental issues as well as preventing them from happening in the first place. That’s why Dr. Samantha Amaro is focused on identifying issues as early as possible and creating personalized treatment plans to keep them from becoming larger problems. If you need help overcoming bad dental habits or fixing the damage they’ve caused your smile, don’t hesitate to contact her via her website or 1(416)285-4545.
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