Seven Bad Habits That Are Damaging Your Teeth

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While regular dental visits and proper oral hygiene are essential for healthy teeth and gums, unhealthy habits could be harming your dental health. Bad dental habits could be undermining your efforts to have good teeth. For patients who engage in bad habits, such as smoking, chewing on ice, and more, there are different ways you could be impacting your oral health. At LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA, we strive to educate our patients on how to take care of their teeth and gums. This blog discusses what bad habits could negatively impact your oral health and what bad dental habits you should kick.

What bad habits are harming your dental health?

Our teeth and gums play a vital role in digesting food and speaking to others, giving our facial structure its shape. However, with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, some people engage in bad habits that could be harming their oral health. Read on to learn more from LANCO Dental Care about seven oral habits that could be damaging your teeth and gums.

1. Smoking or tobacco use

Tobacco use of any kind can not only hurt your overall health, but it can also be harmful to your teeth and gums. While yellow teeth from smoking are a common cosmetic issue, this habit can increase a person's risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, or oral-related cancers.

2. Chewing hard candies or ice

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, yet chewing ice can damage it. Our tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities. However, chewing ice or hard candy can causes chips or cracks, leaving teeth vulnerable to tooth decay.

3. Vigorous brushing

Brushing regularly is vital to maintain healthy teeth and gums. However, aggressive brushing or overbrushing can wear down tooth enamel, causing receding gums and sensitive teeth. While diligent oral care is necessary for good hygiene, change your brushing habits if you overbrush or brush your teeth too hard.

4. Using teeth as "tools"

Dentists and dental hygienists report that patients rely on their teeth for odd reasons: opening a package, biting their nails, or carrying an object when their hands are full. Using your teeth as a tool can damage tooth enamel, causing teeth to chip, crack, or weaken. Next time, protect your smile by grabbing scissors or a box cutter.

5. Excessive sugar

An unhealthy diet of sugary treats and sodas can lead to tooth decay. Sugar causes bacteria in the mouth to convert to an acidic layer that eventually turns into plaque and tartar. Healthy teeth and gums require a nutritious diet. Next time you want a treat or snack, consider a healthier option to preserve your smile.

6. Frequent snacking

Lancaster, PA patients increase their risk of developing cavities with constant snacking or eating throughout the day. Sugary or starchy treats or foods will stick around in your mouth all day, only increasing the risk of harmful bacteria forming. If you need a snack or treat, rinse your mouth with water afterward to prevent leftover food particles from lingering on your teeth all day long.

7. Grinding or clenching

Bruxism is an oral habit of grinding or gnashing your teeth. People can do it throughout the day or at night while sleeping. At LANCO Dental Care, we check for signs of bruxism during routine dental visits. If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, our dental experts can provide a custom mouth guard or dental applicant to protect your oral health from this condition.

Learn more about good oral habits from our dental experts

At LANCO Dental Care, we understand it can be challenging to break bad habits or make changes to your lifestyle. However, good oral hygiene goes beyond brushing and flossing every day, and regular visits to the dentist. You can boost your oral health by drinking more water, quitting smoking, and only indulging in sugary treats occasionally. If you or your family need a dentist in Lancaster, PA, we provide a tranquil, comfortable, and inviting environment for our patients. Contact one of our knowledgeable team members to schedule your dental exam and cleaning appointment, or feel free to book online.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.