Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. It radiates happiness and joy and can affect how other people perceive you. Taking care of your smile is very important, and there are some habits that can negatively impact your smile. Listed below are some common habits that you should avoid.

  • Avoiding Regular Dental Care

Not scheduling regular checkups and cleanings is a surefire way to cause a lot of damage over time. The more time that goes by between appointments, the more opportunities there are for plaque and tartar to build up on your teeth. When that plaque hardens into calculus, your gum tissue begins to get inflamed and irritated – which can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and other health issues.

The only way to effectively combat these issues is with professional cleanings and exams. Most people should see the dentist every six months for a complete exam and professional teeth cleaning. In some cases, more frequent visits are necessary. People with certain health conditions may need to attend more often to prevent issues from developing in the first place.

  • Brushing Too Hard

When brushing your teeth, it’s important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle hand to avoid damaging your enamel or your gum tissues. In addition, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes at a time. It’s generally recommended that you use short strokes when cleaning the outside of your teeth and long strokes on the inside of your teeth. This also helps ensure that you’re not putting too much pressure on your teeth when you brush them. For people wearing braces, it’s also important to clean around brackets and other metal parts with an interdental toothbrush that’s designed to reach the small spaces around your hardware.

  • Grinding Your Teeth

The teeth-grinding and clenching habit is quite common. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, about 10% to 35% of adults grind their teeth at night. When a person grinds their teeth, usually during sleep, it can cause damage to the teeth and jaw. This includes teeth sensitivity, damaged fillings, gum recession, headaches, earaches, and more. If left untreated, the damage caused by this habit can lead to further problems like a misaligned bite and even tooth loss. A mouth guard is usually the best way to stop the teeth-grinding habit in its tracks. Your dentist can create a custom-fitted mouth guard for the patient to wear when they sleep that will protect their teeth from the damage they cause themselves while asleep.

  • Clenching Your Jaw

If you clench your jaw, you are most likely clenching your teeth together tightly for long periods of time. This can put a lot of pressure on your teeth and jaws, which can wear down tooth enamel and cause pain. Chronic teeth grinding can even cause broken or lost teeth over time. You can help prevent this by wearing a mouth guard at night when you sleep, avoiding chewing gum and hard candies, and receiving treatment for stress, anxiety, or other conditions that cause you to grind your teeth or clench your jaw.

  • Biting Your Nails

Nail biting is common for many people, but it can cause extreme damage to your teeth. The habit leads to chipped teeth and even tooth loss due to infection and breakage. Biting your nails can also result in jaw pain and the misalignment of your teeth. It can take months for the damage to be repaired, so it’s important to stop nail biting as soon as you realize you are doing it. If you are unable to quit on your own, ask your dentist about options to help break the habit. This may include therapy, medication, or mouthguards.

  • Using your teeth as tools

Most people use their teeth as a tool from time to time, but doing so can lead to serious dental problems. For example, if you open a bottle with your teeth, you can fracture a tooth or cause the enamel to chip away. If you bite down on a pen or other hard object, it can lead to a cracked tooth and gum damage. By avoiding these bad habits, you can avoid damage to your teeth and make it easier to maintain optimal oral health.

Briarwood Family Dentistry, located in Aurora, CO, offers the best and most gentle dental care services to patients. Dial (303) 680-6000 and book an appointment with us to learn more about our dental services.

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