You practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth, flossing regularly and visiting your dentist twice a year. This is the best way to obtain optimal oral health. However, you might be unaware of bad oral habits that could compromise your dental health. Many people engage in these bad habits, without knowing how severe they could be. Here is our list of the 7 worst (yet common) oral habits:
Crunching things like ice and popcorn kernels are common, but these habits can cause the tooth enamel to crack or fracture, leading to much bigger dental problems over time. If you engage in this habit, switch to snacks that are healthier to chew.
- Using your teeth as a tool
People rely on their teeth to do more than just bite or smile. Many people use their teeth to uncap a bottle of cool drink or nail polish, to open a bag of sweets, or to rip off a price tag from a clothing item. These habits can be harmful on your teeth, causing them to chip off or fracture.
- Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
Brushing your teeth with a hard toothbrush may irritate your gums and lead to sensitive teeth. Over time, the hard bristles will scrape the gum away from the teeth, leaving the roots exposed. This could lead to further sensitivity and even tooth loss.
- Not brushing or flossing correctly
Brushing and flossing regularly is not enough if you fail to do it properly. You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes twice a day, and replace your toothbrush every three to four months. When flossing, ensure that you are cleaning between the gum and tooth. If you are unsure of how to floss correctly, ask your dental hygienist for a demonstration on your next visit.
- Excessively bleaching your teeth
Bleaching your teeth too often increases tooth sensitivity, as well as resulting in your teeth looking unnaturally white. At-home bleaching products should only be used after consulting with your dentist, as he or she can advise you on the proper use of bleaching systems.
- Cheek biting
Accidental cheek biting is common and mostly harmless. However, a cheek chewing habit becomes a problem when it involves constant biting and chronic cheek irritation. Research has shown that cheek biting could be the cause of oral cancer.
- Brushing too soon after eating
Acidic foods and beverages, such as wine, tomatoes, sweet or sour candy, can erode tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after you consume acidic foods and beverages can cause damage to your tooth enamel as you will be brushing the acid into your teeth as opposed to getting rid of them.
If you find yourself engaging in one or more of the above-mentioned habits, consult with your dentist immediately for help with overcoming these bad oral habits. Contact us for a dentist in Cape Town who will advise you on how to maintain optimal oral health and kick those bad habits.
Know Your Teeth “5 Habits That Destroy Your Smile”
WebMD “Do You Have These 5 Bad Dental Habits?”
Best Health “5 bad oral health habits you need to break”