You already know that brushing and flossing are key components to maintaining a healthy, attractive smile. What you may not give as much consideration to is certain habits that can harm your teeth. To help you out, Dr. Lance Porter and Dr. Will Warren of Porter Dental Health Clinic review some of the most harmful habits for your teeth. Don’t allow any of these unnecessary activities to undermine your daily efforts to achieve a great smile:
1. Smoking and Drinking
Although you have undoubtedly seen various anti-drug PSAs over the course of your life, your teeth are yet another reason why you should quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Both these activities are leading factors in developing yellow teeth. While vaping does not do as much damage to the color of your teeth, it contributes to other oral health issues like gum disease, so it is best to avoid smoking in all forms.
When you munch on snacks between meals, this food is more likely to contain acids and sugars that can cause long-term damage to the teeth by causing cavities and eroding the enamel. However, the problem with snacking is deeper than that: grazing on food randomly throughout the day means that your mouth does not generate as much saliva as it does when eating a complete meal. Consequently, our mouths cannot wash away the bacteria that leads to tooth decay as easily. By condensing your eating to three times per day, this helps improve your oral hygiene.
3. Biting Your Nails
Many people consider biting your nails to be a “gross” habit, but worse than that, it can do damage to your teeth. People who bite their nails are at an elevated risk for chipping their teeth and harming the teeth’s protective enamel. The same applies to people who chew on pens and pencils or open plastic packaging with their mouths. For healthy teeth, it is wise to keep all non-edible objects out of your mouth (with a toothbrush being a notable exception) whenever possible!
4. Grinding Your Teeth
A surprisingly high number (up to 10%) of American adults grind their teeth in the middle of the night. Over time, this condition, called bruxism, can wear down on the teeth and sometimes crack them. Stopping bruxism is obviously easier said than done since you are not awake when you do it. If your dentist (or a sleep partner) notices signs of bruxism, you may want to wear a mouthguard while you sleep, to safeguard your teeth.
Repair Your Damage
While you now know how to better protect your teeth from future harm, you will need dental care to repair any existing damage to your teeth. Porter Dental Health Clinic provides a long list of restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures like dental crowns, teeth whitening and porcelain veneers to help you correct any flaws. For an appointment at our Hot Springs, AR office, please schedule online.