Almost everyone will develop a bad habit or two in their lifetime. These so-called bad baits can be anything from impulse buying to ordering takeaways a little too often and not cooking. These habits can range in severity from innocuous to downright damaging. When these habits begin to affect your health, the results can be extremely harmful to your body and, in some cases, your wallet too. Your mouth is no different many people develop habits that are bad for their teeth.
These habits need avoiding for the sake of your smile. And so, if your habit is on this list, then consider making a change for your dental health.
This is a somewhat obvious one and a notoriously bad habit to break. Around ten percent of Australians smoke cigarettes daily, with the highest proportions being from people in the 40s and 50s. Smoking is terrible for not only your bodily health but your oral health too. It leads to teeth discoloration, bad breath, gum disease and inflamed salivary glands. Quitting is one of the best things a smoker can do to improve their health, although it is obviously and understandably difficult. If you smoke and want to quit, you should have a firm support system to help you do so.
Thumb sucking is a habit for some children, but it does continue into adulthood for some people, Dr Ellie says. Those who indulge in this habit run the risk of having their teeth become misaligned, or in some cases, they can come in crooked because of deformities to the roof of the mouth caused by thumb sucking. People suck their thumb for many different reasons, although it is usually a way to self-soothe, and children do often grow out of it – but not always. If you or someone you know still sucks their thumb, or you have a child that is picking up the habit, it may be worth seeking a therapist to help you get to the root of it to address this and hopefully fix it.
Brushing too Aggressively
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for dental health in children, but letting them brush too hard can cause harm to their teeth, Dr Soha says. Hard-bristle toothbrushes can irritate your gums or cause them to recede and also erode tooth enamel. Look at your toothbrush; if the bristles are splayed outward or worn down, then you are likely brushing your teeth too aggressively. The bristles should lightly brush against your teeth and gums without causing any redness. If this is something that you struggle with, then try with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Not Visiting the Dentist Enough
Not doing regular check-ups is also an awful habit to get into. That being said, there can be several different reasons behind this; it can be financial or fear-based, or some people may not have enough time. Visiting a dentist regularly is vital to your dental health. They can offer some preventative advice as they can often spot the signs of an impending issue before it gets too bad, not to mention the routine maintenance they carry out to keep your smile sparkling, which is why you must be using the right dentist. For example, those in the Brisbane area should consider Pure Dentistry. They have highly experienced dentists with various specialisms who offer almost the whole spectrum of dental care. So, you are guaranteed access to the best treatment for you and the best person to perform this treatment.
Clenching & Grinding Your Teeth
This is especially common for people who suffer from anxiety or stress. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can be incredibly damaging. It can erode enamel which leaves the tooth vulnerable to decay. It can also cause further issues such as jaw pain or discomfort and, on rarer occasions, lockjaw and cracked or chipped teeth. If you are someone who routinely clenches or grinds their teeth, then you could look up stress or anxiety relievers if you want to address the cause, or some people opt to have a mouthguard or retainer fitted to protect their teeth from further damage.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
A lot of people use their teeth as a replacement for other tools. For example, they are used to open containers, rip off tags, and open other packages. Although, doing this can undo all the excellent work your dentists did and open you up to many other problems. Stopping this habit is one of the best ways to protect your teeth from cracks and chips, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to bacteria and teeth decay.
Try to use your teeth for what they are for and nothing else. Some of the above might sound obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people do not consider their teeth healthy when picking up these habits. Fixing the damage done by these habits can be expensive and time-consuming, so preventative measures are beneficial.