Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid For Better Oral Health

Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid For Better Oral Health

Good oral hygiene habits are essential in maintaining proper oral health. It is a set of practices performed by an individual for the maintenance of oral and dental hygiene. On the other hand, many of the habits we may be doing every day may damage our oral health. Here are some of them.

  • Not brushing or flossing regularly

When we don’t brush and floss our teeth regularly, plaque forms on them. And if the plaque is not removed within 24 hours, it hardens into tartar, which is difficult to remove without professional cleaning. Over time, bacteria from plaque can cause gum irritation and gum disease. Gum disease won’t go away on its own and can eventually cause cavities and tooth loss as well. This is why it is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year to have your teeth and gums examined and receive a professional cleaning if needed.

In addition to regular check-ups, brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time can help remove harmful bacteria and food particles from your mouth and prevent tooth decay as well as gum disease. If you experience any issues with your dental health, like bleeding gums, when you brush, schedule an appointment immediately with your dentist to prevent any problems from getting worse. The earlier you catch a problem, the easier it is to treat it.

  • Teeth grinding

One of the most common bad habits is teeth grinding. It can happen while you’re sleeping, which can make it challenging to recognize and possibly embarrassing to talk about. Many people who grind their teeth do so at night and aren’t even aware they’re doing it. Teeth grinding can be harmful because it wears down the enamel on your teeth. You may also experience jaw pain when you grind your teeth, and it can strain the muscles in your face and neck. If you notice that you clench your jaw during the day or wake up with sore muscles around your jaws, it’s time to talk to your dentist about a possible mouthguard. Mouth guards are worn over teeth and can help protect against damage from clenching or grinding the teeth.

  • Nail biting

Having a bad habit of chewing on your fingernails is not exceptionally harmful to your oral health; however, it could lead to other dental problems over time. Aside from developing an unsightly and foul odor on your fingers, you may also be damaging your teeth. Every time you bite your nails, you’re putting more pressure on your already weakened tooth enamel. This could lead to cracks and other visible damage on your smile. Additionally, habitually biting nails can lead to receding gums and even tooth loss if it’s left unchecked for a long period of time.

It’s recommended that you keep your hands busy and try to break this habit. You can also consider wearing gloves when doing tasks that cause you to chew on your fingers. If all else fails, visit your dentist to find out if they can help break the habit for good. 

  • Smoking

Cigarettes and cigars contain many harmful chemicals that can weaken the enamel on your teeth and cause the yellowing of your smile over time. In addition to causing bad breath, smoking can also lead to oral cancer, gum disease, and other health problems. If you smoke, quit it at the earliest; this is the best thing you can do for your oral health. Also, aask your dentist about tooth whitening or other treatments that can improve your smile.

  • Brushing teeth aggressively

When you brush your teeth too hard, you risk developing cracked teeth and receding gums. Also, your enamel can be worn away over time, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. This can cause your teeth to become more sensitive to heat and cold. You may even develop white spots on your teeth from eroded enamel. Enamel erosion can also increase your risk for tooth sensitivity. The enamel is the thin outer layer of your teeth, and it protects the sensitive nerves inside. Without it, you will have more pain in your teeth when you eat and drink certain foods. So, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brush your teeth gently using short, circular strokes. 

Contact ELAN Dentistry for the best dental care. To book an appointment, call (714) 364-8181 or visit us at 1030 West Imperial Hwy, La Habra, CA 90631.

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