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Bad Habits That Affect Oral Health

Updated: Mar 15


A Lack of Regular Dental Checkups

Many patients assume that if they brush and floss their teeth regularly, they are taking care of their oral health. However, regular dental checkups and cleanings help prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. This is a routine checkup, and your dentist will examine your teeth for signs of decay and gum disease.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

Biting your nails, chewing on pens, and chewing on ice or hard candy can all cause chips and fractures to the enamel on your teeth. These fractures can expose dentin, a yellowish tissue. Once dentin is exposed, it becomes susceptible to cavities.

Using Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco like chewing tobacco and snuff can cause your teeth to become discolored and stained. It can also increase your risk of oral cancer. Quitting can help reverse some of the damage.

Quitting smoking is a better choice for your health. Studies show that people who quit smoking cut their risk of oral cancer in half.


Grinding Your Teeth

Most people grind their teeth from time to time, but chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) can lead to a number of oral health issues, including worn or damaged teeth. Chronic teeth grinding can also put excessive pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can result in jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms.

Not Brushing Your Teeth Enough

When it comes to your oral health, it is important to practice healthy habits every day. Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes is recommended. However, if you’re like most people, you might occasionally skip brushing. While skipping brushing your teeth every once in a while isn’t the end of the world, it does put you at a higher risk for oral health problems. Alternatively, brushing your teeth can be bad for your oral health if done too forcefully. It can cause receding gums, tooth enamel erosion, and even tooth loss. Some people brush their teeth so vigorously that they wear away the enamel or the outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body and protects the dentin, which is softer than bone and can decay easily. Once eroded, the dentin is exposed, which can lead to sensitivity and pain. Cavities can also occur when the enamel becomes weakened. Worn-down enamel has also been linked to tooth sensitivity. When you brush your teeth, do so gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be sure to use fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings to keep your oral health in tip-top shape!

Sucking Your Thumb

Thumb sucking is common among children, as it’s a comforting habit that helps them to fall asleep. However, once the habit continues into young adulthood, it can have negative consequences. Most children stop thumb sucking on their own, but if your child continues to need their thumb for comfort, you may want to bring them in for an evaluation.


Nail biting

Biting your nails is a bad habit that can cause damage to your oral health. It can cause your teeth to become loose from the roots or fracture. If your nails are bitten frequently, it can cause your jaw muscles to get sore as well.

The best thing to do is to stop this bad habit. If you're having a hard time doing so, try distracting yourself. You can also try buying yourself some bitter-tasting nail polish to wear on your nails instead. This way, you can still have pretty nails without having to bite them. You can also ask your dentist about ways to help you stop biting your nails.


To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentist in Albuquerque NM, Dr. Snyder, call (505)-293-7611, schedule an online consultation or visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.

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