With 2017 just around the corner, New Year’s resolutions are on the rise. However, it is not always new habits that we need to pick up. This year, consider ditching some of the habits that can be harmful to your teeth. Taking care of your mouth, teeth, and jaw are good habits that can benefit you for your entire life. Make the most out of the New Year by making sure you have two dental appointments booked for 2017 and are brushing and flossing every day.
At Bonham Dental, we want you to have the knowledge you need to keep your oral hygiene at its best in between visits. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, go the extra mile by getting rid of the things that do not improve the health of your mouth. Here are some habits to ditch that can make your 2017 dental appointments your best ones yet.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, biting your nails can cause them to crack, chip, and wear down. If that’s not enough, it can also cause teeth to appear dull, disease-causing bacteria to spread, and infections in the nail to pop up. Biting your nails can cause your jaw to become extremely sore and can eventually lead to popping and clicking. Give your nails and your teeth a break this year and keep your fingers out of your mouth the best you can.
Cavities develop because bacteria in your mouth create acids that destroy the tooth enamel. That bacteria feeds on the sugar from food that you eat. So, the more frequently you eat, the more sugar you feed to the bacteria. Your mouth is constantly working to clean itself by generating new saliva, and that gets interrupted when you are constantly snacking. Avoid snacking frequently on sugary and processed foods that are not easily broken down in your mouth and your teeth will thank you for it.
Chewing On Ice
It may seem like a good idea to crunch down on the ice left at the bottom of your cup, especially on a hot day. But this habit can be extremely rough on your pearly whites. It can cause major damage to tooth enamel and even chip or crack your teeth. Too much ice chewing increases your chances of cavities and also makes your teeth become more sensitive to hold or cold food and drinks. Skip the ice for the sake of your entire mouth.
Brushing Too Hard
It is possible to have too much of a good thing, and brushing your teeth is one of them. Brushing too vigorously can wear down the enamel on your teeth and push the gums back. There is no doubt that taking good care of your teeth by brushing twice a day is extremely important. Just make sure that you are brushing properly to avoid toothbrush abrasion. Removing plaque takes time, not force. Brush your teeth for two to three minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush with just enough pressure to feel the bristles against the gums. If you are bending the bristles, you are brushing your teeth too hard.
Using Your Teeth As Tools
Using your teeth for things like opening packages or ripping off tags seems like a simple solution for getting a job done, but using your teeth as tools can be extremely damaging. It is a huge threat because it may cause cracking or breaking. Biting down hard on materials that are not food can wear down the enamel and cause teeth to become softer and more vulnerable to damage than before. This year, say no to using your teeth for things that you can use your hands for.
Clenching Your Jaw
If you find yourself waking up with headaches, a sore jaw, or neck pain, you may be clenching your jaw unknowingly. Excessive jaw clenching can be dangerous because it can cause bruxism, which is a condition that affects approximately 30 million to 40 million people in the U.S. The grinding that comes with clenching your teeth can wear down the teeth and cause damage to your teeth and jaw. If clenching your jaw at night has become a problem, look into professionally made night guards, which can prevent teeth from scraping against each other while you sleep.