5 Bad Dental Habits You Need To Quit

Even if you are visiting your dentist regularly and brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes per session, you may still be practicing habits that could damage your pearly whites. Here are five habits that can cause significant dental issues:

1. Brushing With a Hard-bristled Toothbrush

It may seem logical that a toothbrush with harder bristles would clean your teeth more thoroughly than a brush with soft bristles. However, not only are hard bristles no more effective than their soft counterparts at cleaning the teeth, but they are also likely to damage your tooth enamel and increase your dental sensitivity.

Hard bristles and brushing with too much force can actually wear away the enamel of your teeth. Your teeth are made up of multiple layers of material. The outermost layer, which is called the enamel, is the hard white layer that is the least susceptible to damage. The underlying layers, which include the yellow dentin and the soft pulp that contains the nerves and blood vessels of the teeth, are more easily damaged by trauma. Thus, once your enamel erodes and the dentin is revealed, the health of your teeth can suffer severely.

Instead of choosing a toothbrush with hard bristles, only use soft-bristled brushes. In addition, be sure to brush gently during your teeth-cleaning sessions.

2. Abusing Dental Bleaches

Who doesn’t want a sparkling white smile? According to many of the teeth-whitening commercials that you may see on television, over-the-counter whiteners provide quick and easy solutions for whiter teeth. Even though these readily available dental bleaches can be easily purchased at local stores, abusing them can result in an increase in dental sensitivity. The chemicals in the bleaching products can access dental nerves through the pores of the teeth and cause them to become inflamed. Consequently, you may find that your teeth are more sensitive to heat, cold and pressure.

Dental bleaches, when used as directed, can slowly improve the color of your teeth. Teeth that have been stained by the enamel’s absorption of pigments and colorants from darkly toned foods and drinks can be whitened using chemical bleaches. However, these peroxide-based products can increase dental sensitivity if they are over-used. If the damage to sensitive dental nerves is significant enough, a root canal may be needed to alleviate your discomfort.

To avoid mistakes while applying an over-the-counter whitener, consider a professional dental whitening session at your dentist’s office.

3. Chewing on Ice

The crunching sound that ice makes as you chomp on it can be soothing, especially in times of stress. However, the cold, hard substance can cause problems for your teeth.

The amount of bite pressure that is needed to crunch through ice can be great enough to cause cracks and chips to form in your teeth. In addition, the bite force can wreak havoc on dental appliances, such as porcelain crowns and veneers.

If you feel that you absolutely must chew on something during periods of stress, opt for a stick of sugarless gum instead of ice. The soft texture of the gum is unlikely to damage your teeth. In addition, the gum can help pull particles of food and plaque away from your teeth and gums, while increasing the flow of saliva to rinse the debris away.

4. Biting Your Fingernails

Biting your fingernails, like chewing ice, can damage your teeth. The pressure from the continual biting may cause your teeth to crack, shift or chip. In addition, fingernails can harbor a significant amount of germs—even on freshly washed hands. As you bite your nails. the microbes from beneath them can be shoved into the spaces between your gums and your teeth, resulting in gum infections.

5. Sipping Soda

It’s easy to habitually sip from a can of soda. However, even if the soda is sugar-free, it is still likely to damage your teeth.

Soda is extremely acidic. As a result, like bacterial acid, soda can dissolve your tooth enamel. Additionally, if you prefer regular sodas instead of the diet variety, the sugar from the drinks feeds the oral bacteria in your mouth and promotes tooth decay.

If you are constantly sipping on a favorite carbonated beverage, exchange it for water. Fluoridated water not only rinses away decay-causing debris and dilutes oral bacteria, but due to its fluoride content, it can help remineralize your teeth and make them more resistant to acid.

To learn more about the effects of your dental habits on your teeth and gums, schedule a consultation with our office.

Hancock Village Dental

2560 E Highway 50

Suite 103

Clermont, FL 34711

352.989.5815

Excellent staff. I have been to a lot of dentists over my years, but this staff was the best ever. Very Impressed. The hygenist taught me a lot about my teeth that I never knew. The office was extremely clean and used modern technology. I was seen in a very timely manner and didn't have to wait at all. I highly recommend going to this practice!

Laura Stein | Florida

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For a child to say he is so excited to see the dentist is a GO for me as a mom. The atmosphere is just awesome and so friendly. The staff is phenomenal and family oriented. This is where you should be for your dental needs.

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