Stop Destroying Your Smile: 3 Brutal Dental Habits You Need To Break Right Now

Everyone has a few bad habits up their sleeve, but most don't realize just how much of an impact that they can have. This is particularly true with a poor dental habits, which can easily undermine all of your persistent efforts to brush and floss twice a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Here are three bad dental-related habits that you'll want to break because they're seriously putting your teeth and overall oral health at risk:

1. Chewing on Pieces of Ice

Crunching and chewing on ice may be a great way to cool off in the summer or to keep yourself from eating something that you shouldn't (those greasy potato chips or that tasty chocolate bar). However, Colgate says that crunching and chewing on ice is not good for your teeth either. In fact, this bad habit can lead to premature gum injuries as well as chipped or broken teeth. This doesn't mean that you can't use ice for refreshment any longer, but you do need to change things up a bit. It is recommended that you allow ice pieces to melt in your mouth – no biting – or to replace them with crunchy apple chunks or baby carrots.

2. Stress- and Anxiety-Related Teeth Grinding.

The grinding of your teeth can be extremely harmful to your oral health. Usually, this activity is a sign of stress and anxiety, and it normally occurs at nighttime. There are other causes, such as sleep apnea or abnormal bites. If you grind your teeth on a regular basis, it can quickly wear down your teeth – all the way to stumps. It can even cause loosening, breaking and loss of your teeth. It may also affect your jaws, causing TMJ and changing your normal face shape. In most chronic cases, you'll need to be fitted for a mouth guard and may need to get a crown and root canal or dental implant. Partial or complete dentures are also options, when necessary.

3. Using a Hard-Bristled Brush and Overbrushing.

It is important to brush your teeth on a regular basis in order to protect your teeth and mouth from plaque and other bacteria. However, it is possible to overdo it. This can lead to sensitive teeth due to the enamel being worn down from vigorous brushing. At the same time, it can cause your gums to recede, which can then lead to exposed tooth roots and periodontal disease. It has been shown that as much as 20 percent of the American population damage their teeth and gums by overbrushing. You are most at risk for this if you use a hard-bristled brush, so it is important to use a soft-bristled brush and gently brush your teeth. Aggressive brushing is not required to remove plaque; instead, thoroughness is necessary.

Another poor dental habit is procrastinating about your visits to the dentist. If you haven't seen a dentist in the last six months, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get back on track with good dental hygiene. For more information, contact Plaza Family Dentistry or a similar location.