Bad Habits That Could Be Ruining Your Dental Health

Our teeth help us chew the food we eat, speak, and smile. Taking care of our teeth is very important. Good oral hygiene ensures not only healthy teeth but also a healthy mouth. However, certain habits can damage our oral health. Here are some of them.

Nail Biting

Some people bite their nails out of habit. The act can lead to chipped or cracked teeth and mouth sores. It can also damage the soft tissues of your mouth and cause infection. The habit can also wear down the enamel of the teeth. Unless you’ve already damaged your teeth by chewing on your nails, it’s never too late to quit this bad habit.


Tobacco products contain thousands of harmful chemicals that can not only stain teeth but also cause cancer of the mouth and gum disease. Quitting tobacco products can greatly improve the oral and overall health of teeth and gums. When users smoke or chew tobacco regularly, they are at higher risk of tooth discoloration as well as oral cancers. This can lead to the need for extensive restorative dental treatment such as crowns, implants, bridges, and dentures. The enamel can also wear down over time due to years of tobacco use.

If you smoke or use tobacco products and want to improve your overall oral health, it is best to consult with your dentist. Your dentist can help recommend treatments to whiten stained teeth and treat gum issues, including disease. He or she can also provide recommendations for quitting tobacco altogether. Some dentists even offer smoking cessation programs for individuals who want to quit.

Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Yes, being gentle when brushing your teeth is important for the gums and enamel. However, some people have a habit of being too aggressive with their toothbrushes when brushing their teeth, often to no gain. This habit can lead to chipped or cracked teeth over time. If you are guilty of this habit, be aware of how you brush your teeth and always use a brush with soft bristles.

We recommend that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a gentle stroke while brushing your teeth. There should be no side-to-side motion when brushing your teeth. Also, it’s recommended that you use toothpaste that contains uoride to strengthen your enamel and gut cavities. Finally, make sure you replace your toothbrush every three months.

Teeth Grinding

Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a common habit among adults as well as children. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body; however, it is still susceptible to damage. Teeth grinding can wear down tooth enamel and may result in chips and cracks on your teeth. Over time, this may also cause sensitivity in your teeth to hot and cold temperatures. If you believe you may be grinding your teeth at night, ask your dentist about mouth guards or night guards. These custom-titted appliances are worn while you sleep and help absorb the shock of clenching your jaw when sleeping. These can help prevent damage to your teeth and jaws as well as alleviate some headaches and neck pains related to bruxism.

Using Teeth As Tools

Do you have the following habits?

  • Opening packages with your teeth
  • Ripping o price tags from items in stores
  • Chewing on ice and hard candy
  • Using your teeth to open plastic bags or bottles

If your answer is yes, quit them at the earliest to prevent any further damage caused to the teeth. Also, see your dentist if you experience pain from any of these habits or if you damage a tooth in the process. These bad habits may be able to be addressed with a custom mouthguard or other protective device. Your dentist will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment for protecting your teeth from these behaviors.

To find out about the dental services offered at Zane Dental, call (763) 561-1200 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit Dentist in Brooklyn Park, MN, at 7340 Zane Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443.

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