Top Bad Dental Habits

When it comes to our oral health care, we all slip up occasionally. Ideally, we brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit our dentist every six months for an exam and professional cleaning. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out in practice. What you might not know is there are actually a myriad of other damaging habits that you may not even know are harmful. Below are the top bad dental habits.

Top Bad Dental Habits

The following guide is intended to help you identify the top bad dental habits to make your next visit to your dentist in Irvine as surprise-free as possible.

Chewing on Ice

If you like crunching down on ice as you empty your refreshing beverage, then you may want to reconsider that habit. The extreme cold of ice in conjunction with its hard surface can actually cause your teeth to crack. For the most part, these cracks are microscopic, but they weaken your natural defenses by opening up paths through your enamel to the sensitive dentin below.

Opening Things with Your Teeth

Your teeth aren’t quite as hard as you may think they are, which makes using them as tools a really bad idea. Doing it once or twice isn’t likely to do much harm, but decades of using your teeth to open bags, bottles, etc., can definitely take a toll. Over time the edges of the teeth you use will become weaker and more prone to serious damage.

Teeth Grinding

Most people who grind their teeth do it while they sleep, so you may not even be aware of it. One easy way to get to the truth is to use a sleep app that records sleep disruptions and other sounds throughout the night. You’ll likely hear yourself grinding your teeth if it’s a consistent problem. If it turns out you do grind your teeth, talk to your periodontist in Irvine about getting a mouthguard.

Using the Wrong Toothbrush

You may think hard bristles are the way to go, but our enamel doesn’t stand up well to physical erosion. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are specifically designed to flexibly remove plaque without scratching your enamel. If you aren’t sure whether or not your toothbrush is safe for you to use, look for the American Dental Association’s stamp of approval or talk to your dentist about suggested brands that fit your budget.

Snacking and Sipping All Day

Dentists suggest brushing twice a day because plaque takes longer than twelve hours to form. In a perfect world, we would brush our teeth every time we ate or drank something to minimize the effects of sugars and bacteria in our mouths. Of course, that’s not really feasible for people who are working in or out of the home. To counter this, we really should avoid snacking or sipping staining drinks throughout the day. Instead, try to concentrate them around your major meal times.

Not Replacing Your Toothbrush

We are technically supposed to replace our toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months. This regular replacement ensures that the bristles are in good shape and that our toothbrush isn’t completely loaded with bacteria. Sadly, it’s very uncommon for American households to replace their toothbrushes that often, and it could result in problems down the road.

Improving Your Dental Hygiene

If you are prone to any of these habits, it isn’t anything to be ashamed of. We all make mistakes that could cause us trouble in the future. The important thing is that we recognize the potential for harm and take steps to change our behavior. The best part is that it’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself.