We do things every day that we consider normal and in some cases habitual. Some are harmless, but knowing about the harmful ones can lead to improved dental and overall health. While your dentist may caution you about things like brushing and flossing, some others that may not receive acknowledgement during your dental visit include:
- Nail biting – Often performed by younger folks and sometimes attributed to boredom, nail biting is unsanitary to say the least. But the way the jaw contorts can result in a malocclusion; and dental enamel can be damaged resulting in chipped and/or broken teeth.
- Chewing ice – Biting down on anything hard, including ice cubes, can lead to tooth damage.
- Soda consumption – This is a major topic for discussion that has been on-going for years. The primary concern usually focuses on the sugar content; but even the sugar free varieties can contribute to dental decay. The acidic value attributed to the very thing that many people love about soda (its fizz) can damage your teeth.
- Teeth grinding – This can be difficult to catch right away. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching often originate during periods of sleep so unless a partner hears what is going on, this may go undiagnosed until your dentist detects signs such as tooth wear during a dental exam. Teeth grinding can become so habitual you may continue to do it during waking hours, but are totally unaware of the action.
- Tobacco use – We are all aware of the warnings regarding smoking and its effects on your health … primarily lung cancer and heart disease … but any kind of tobacco use is particularly damaging to your dentition. Patients who use tobacco are far more likely to develop periodontal disease – a condition where the patient suffers from bleeding and swollen gums, chronic bad breath, gum tissue pulling away from teeth, and the potential for tooth loss.
We only get one set of permanent teeth so anything we can do to preserve them is important. That means being aware of damaging habits and stopping them. In addition, we can adopt good habits like brushing twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste; flossing daily to remove what the toothbrush missed; and visiting the dentist every six months for cleaning and exam.
If it’s time to schedule your next visit, contact Friendly Dental Care at 740-687-6105 today.