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Best and Worst Dental Habits

Posted on: February 1, 2018

DentalEveryone is a creature of habit. If your oral health habits are not healthy habits, they will eventually cause major issues.  Some people have gotten into the habit of chewing their nails, grinding their teeth, failing to floss and brushing too hard. Others have fantastic oral health habits like taking the time to floss between the teeth and gum line, using mouthwash after each brushing session and brushing the tongue.

Here is a look at some of the best/worst dental habits.

The Worst Dental Habits

1. Brushing too hard

Brushing the teeth for at least two minutes each session is essential to oral health.  However, too many people are in the habit of pressing the toothbrush very hard against the teeth.  Others use a toothbrush with stiff bristles that wear away at tooth enamel when applying excessive pressure. It is important to ease up on the pressure and use a soft-bristled brush to help the teeth benefit.

2. Biting the nails

Biting nails is a terrible oral health habit. Biting one’s nails can chip the teeth and negatively impact the jaw. In fact, protruding the jaw for an extensive period of time can pressure it to the point that it becomes dysfunctional. Patients can reduce stress or add a bitter nail polish to the nails so it is easier to avoid biting the nails.

3. Teeth grinding

Grinding and/or clenching the teeth can cause them to crack or chip.  Grinding and clenching can also lead to joint pain and/or muscle tenderness. A patient might even feel as though he or she is unable to open the mouth much at all due to excessive grinding.  Thus, the patient can try using a mouthguard when sleeping to prevent damage from grinding.

4. Using teeth as a tool

One of the key functions of teeth is to chew food. However, patients must not use teeth to open packages like a pair of scissors. Patients must also not use teeth to hold onto items when their hands are full.  If a patient uses his or her teeth as a tool, then he or she might end up cracking teeth.

The Best Dental Health Habits

1. Proper brushing

When it comes to the best/worst dental habits, this is one of the more important ones.  You should brush in circular motions across all portions of your teeth.  Move the brush in a gentle manner to prevent a breakdown of tooth enamel.

2. Cleaning the tongue

Cleaning the tongue on a daily basis is essential to preventing halitosis and helping people properly taste food.

3. Flossing on a regular basis

Patients need to treat flossing as if it is just as important as brushing. Patients can ask any dentist about the importance of flossing and will find it is just as important, if not more important, than brushing.  Flossing knocks out those tiny pieces of food as well as bacteria from the spaces between the teeth.

4. Watching what you eat

Patients can keep their teeth healthy by consuming crunchy and fresh produce. This is especially important for children. Have children consume chewy foods at a young age rather than processed foods so the jaws can get a workout.  Ideally, you will avoid acidic and sugary foods as they lead to enamel erosion and cavities.

Call (313) 251-1355 to schedule an appointment with Contemporary Dentistry PC in our Dearborn dental office.


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