More than 100 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. For a good portion of them, it could have been avoided by practicing better oral health habits, like visiting their family dentist in Newtown every six months. There are also plenty of bad habits that many of us partake in that we don’t realize are detrimental for our pearly whites. Here are a few of the most common ones you should avoid if you want to keep all of your teeth in good condition.
Smokers are more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease as well as cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs. Not only that, but smoking causes bad breath and leaves behind permanent stains on the teeth. Ask your doctor or dentist for resources to help you kick the habit once and for all.
2. Using Teeth as Tools
It can be tempting to use your teeth to open up stubborn packing or carry bags when your hands are full. Doing so, however, increases your risk for a chipped or cracked tooth, which can be extremely painful and costly to treat. Instead, use a knife or scissors to open packages, and make a second trip to take groceries inside.
3. Nail Biting
You may have already heard that biting your nails can wreck your teeth, which is true. But it can also place pressure on your jaw joint and cause pain, since you hold your jaw at an unnatural angle when you bite your nails. Keep your nails trimmed short or wear nail polish to avoid the temptation to bite them. If you don’t want colors, there are plenty of options for clear polish.
4. Brushing Too Aggressively
Some people believe that the harder and faster you brush, the more thoroughly clean your teeth will be. That is not the case. Brushing too vigorously can actually do more harm than good. It can irritate your gums and wear down your enamel, leading to sensitive teeth down the road. Think of brushing your teeth as polishing an eggshell rather than sanding down a floor.
5. Chewing on Ice
While chewing on ice can be addicting, your teeth will thank you if you quit the habit. It can result in breakage of your teeth. If you absolutely can’t quit, try chewing on smaller, finer pieces of ice like shaved ice instead.
6. Playing Sports Without a Mouthguard
Every time you engage in a physical activity, even if it’s not a contact sport, you should be protecting your pearly whites with a mouthguard. This is a durable plastic tray that fits snugly over the teeth to give them a boost of protection against injury due to impact. You could always buy a cheap one from the sporting goods store, but investing in a custom mouthguard from your dentist will provide your smile with better protection.
The next time you’re about to engage in one of these bad habits, stop and think about how it’s going to hurt your teeth. When in doubt, ask your family dentist in Newtown for more advice on how to protect your smile from damage. Making little changes now can lead to a healthy, confident smile that you’ll be able to enjoy for decades to come.
About the Practice
At Dentists of Newtown, we understand how annoying it can be to shuttle between multiple specialists to get all of your dental needs met. That’s why we have several different specialists under one roof! Our dentists are skilled in a variety of areas, so you can count on us no matter what you need. To learn more about our practice, visit our website.