It’s already time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions.
Why not make your oral health a priority in 2016?
If you don’t know where to start, read about these common bad dental habits. If you have one of these oral habits, talk to Dr. Marra and his staff for tips on breaking the habit before it leads to a dental emergency or more costly dental procedures in the future.
6 Bad Oral Habits to Avoid
#1 Using Tobacco Products. Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco are bad for your health for numerous reasons, including raising your risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Bad breath, yellowing teeth, jaw bone loss and increased build up of plaque and tartar also are major reasons to kick the habit for good.
#2 Not Flossing. Many people brush daily but skimp on flossing altogether or only occasionally floss (maybe a few days before a dental check up.) Daily flossing is essential to cavity prevention and good oral hygiene. Flossing removes food and bacteria between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
#3 Grinding your Teeth/Clenching your Jaw. Some people develop a condition called bruxism in which they grind their teeth or tighten their jaws. Many people grind teeth or clench jaws while sleeping and may not even be aware that they are doing it. Stress also can trigger jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The constant pressure on your teeth can lead to small fractures in the teeth and major dental work. Other side effects include:
- dull headaches
- jaw and face pain
- temporomandibular disorders (commonly known as TMJ).
#4 Biting your Nails. Chronic nail biting can wear down your teeth, damage tooth enamel and cause your teeth to move out of alignment. Having your hands in your mouth also exposes you to a host of germs that can spread throughout your body.
#5 Chewing on Ice. Crunching on ice may not seem harmful, but the cold temperature of the ice coupled with its hardness can be a recipe for disaster. Avoid the temptation so you don’t crack or chip a tooth.
#6 Using your Teeth as a Tool. Your teeth are for chewing food. They are not substitutes for scissors or pliers. Attempting to open packaging with your teeth can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, cuts to your gums and damage to dental work.