Most people have engaged in a few bad dental habits at some point in time, but here are a few that can help serve as a reminder of what not to do. Dr. Carrie Lintner, your favorite Kalamazoo dentist, outlines 5 of these bad habits and how to avoid them.
Below Lindenwoods Dental outlines 5 bad dental habits:
Your trusted Kalamazoo Dentist (Dr. Lintner), outlines 5 bad dental habits that we see quite often. Avoiding these habits can help you maintain maximum oral health and avoid unpleasant trips to the dentist!
Bad habit #1: Forgetting to floss
Brushing and flossing should always go hand in hand. However, many people forget to floss more often than not. Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth, if not more important! Floss helps to remove the bacteria trapped between your teeth. This bacteria is the number one cause of tooth decay. Leaving this bacteria clinging to crevasses of your mouth can also lead to gum disease. Make sure to accompany your routine teeth brushing with a good flossing session. Try leaving your floss in sight with your toothbrush to remind yourself to use it. After a while you’ll notice your mouth just doesn’t feel as clean without it!
Bad habit #2: Brushing too hard
Many patients are shocked when they hear that brushing their teeth too hard is bad for oral health. The theory behind a hard scrubbing is that it helps remove plaque and bacteria. While it is true that good brushing techniques help remove these harmful agents, extreme pressure is a bad idea. Too much pressure can actually harm both the tooth’s enamel and the gum tissue. Use of proper technique with slight pressure can be just as effective. Choosing the proper toothbrush is also very important so please read on!
Bad habit #3: Using a hard bristle tooth brush
All brushing habits are extremely important. But none may be more important than choosing the right toothbrush. Bristle’s come in all shapes, forms and stiffness, so choosing the right one is key. Softer bristles will help protect the tooth’s enamel from erosion, while the bristles will also be easier on the gums. The ADA actually has safety guidelines for toothbrush manufacturers as well. So always be on the lookout for the ADA seal on your toothbrush packaging when choosing a softer bristle.
Bad habit #4: Using your teeth as a tool
You can imagine the type of visits we get at our dental offices that start with “well I was trying to bite this…” We’ve seen all sorts of chipped teeth and/or enamel damage due to patients using their teeth as a “tool.” The fact of the matter is that it’s a horrible habit to use your teeth as nail clippers or to cut tags off of your new shirt. And your teeth are the absolute worst thing to use as a bottle opener (there are always these types of stories out there)…. It’s time to ditch these habits and think about the consequences of using your teeth. Grab a pair of nail clippers or scissors instead!
Bad Habit #5: Grinding your teeth
Okay, maybe grinding your teeth (or bruxism) shouldn’t be classified as a “habit.” But just because most people don’t choose to grind their teeth (especially during sleep), doesn’t mean it can’t wreak havoc on your oral health. Many patients we see don’t even know they are guilty of grinding their teeth. This is why regular dental checkups are so important in maintaining peak oral health. Your dentist can often identify grinding patterns just by eye sight, however there are other methods to identify bruxism.
So don’t forget to schedule your next check-up! You can contact Lindenwoods Dental today with any additional questions.