Brushing and flossing, paired with biannual dental checkups, are essential oral hygiene habits that you must keep up for good dental health. But even then, keeping your smile healthy can be difficult as other everyday habits can damage your teeth and gums without you knowing it. Here, Dr. Wayne Sutton of Sonoma Smiles reveals four habits that may be harming your teeth.
Not only does nail biting transfer germs and bacteria from your fingers to your mouth, it also can potentially chip your teeth or put too much tension on your jaw. If you’re a chronic nail biter, consider breaking the habit gradually by wearing bitter-tasting nail polishes or reducing stress by squeezing a stress ball instead of biting your nails.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Some people grind their teeth or clench their jaw when they are stressed. Other people do it while they sleep, not knowing that this habit can chip or crack teeth or eventually lead to muscle tenderness or jaw pain. If you’re prone to teeth grinding or clenching, or you suspect that your jaw pain, mouth pain or toothache may be a result of nighttime bruxism, schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she can create a custom-made mouth guard that will protect your teeth from the damage that bruxism causes when sleeping.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing too hard or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage the teeth and irritate the gums. The best approach to brushing is to gently yet firmly brush the teeth with tooth-wide strokes using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush for approximately two minutes.
Constantly snacking exposes your teeth to sugars, acids and bacteria that put you at a higher risk of developing cavities. Try to limit how much you snack during the day. If you do snack, opt for healthier food options like yogurt and cheese, which are great sources of calcium. Pair your snacks with a glass of water to wash away leftover food particles in the mouth.
When was the last time you visited the dentist? Dr. Sutton and his friendly dental team at Sonoma Smiles are here to help you maintain a lifetime of good oral health. To schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning, or to discuss your dental needs, please call (707) 585-2555 or email us today.