Bad Habits for Your Teeth to Break This Year

Bad Habits for Your Teeth to Break This Year

Dental health in the United States isn’t great. Missing teeth is a very common issue, but not nearly as prevalent as tooth decay. Far more people have cavities than don’t. But it doesn’t have to be that way! 

At Sargon Dental, in Encino, California, the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, and Pleasant Grove, Utah, our staff and team of talented dentists want to encourage you to practice excellent dental hygiene and get regular care. Those two simple steps can prevent many common oral health issues. 

Along with common-sense preventive care, we want to help you identify and overcome some widespread bad habits that cause problems for your teeth. 

Not keeping your teeth clean

One of the most common reasons people experience tooth decay comes down to something very simple: not keeping your teeth as clean as you should. The best way to take care of your teeth involves:

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: You should brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day and floss at least once. Unfortunately, many people don’t floss, either because they feel like it’s too time-consuming, too much of a hassle, or they don’t like how it feels. 

Flossing is the best way to remove buildup from bits of food that get trapped between your teeth, leading to plaque buildup. The plaque serves as nourishment for harmful bacteria. That bacteria erodes your teeth and eventually leads to decay. 

If you hate flossing, we recommend you try a water flosser system. These powerful devices shoot jets of water in between your teeth to dislodge trapped debris.

Brushing too hard

Often, when people know they should be flossing but don’t, they try to make up for it by brushing extra hard. Or, maybe you just really want to make sure you’re doing a good job. But brushing too hard is a very bad habit, especially if you use a brush with stiff bristles. 

Instead, we encourage you to use a soft-bristled brush in a gentle, circular motion. Brushing carefully and gently can protect the enamel on your teeth, which protects you from the harmful bacteria that lead to tooth decay. 

Nail biting

Chewing or biting your nails can chip your teeth. Plus, nail biting is bad for your jaw. If life is stressful, try some deep breathing exercises! Treating yourself to a nice manicure might also help you stop biting your nails. 

Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw

If you have frequent aches in your jaw, it could be due to grinding or clenching. Many folks do this when they feel stressed without even realizing it. Both habits can wear down your teeth.

Often, teeth grinding happens at night, while you’re asleep. If you’ve had unexplained headaches or you notice your jaw hurts in the morning, come in and talk with us. Your dentist can see signs of grinding, and we can fit you with a night guard to protect your teeth. 

Eating ice

Do you chomp on ice? This is quite dangerous for your teeth. You’re risking breaking or chipping a tooth every time you do it. 

Not protecting your mouth when you play sports

If you play sports, use the proper gear. If a mouth guard is recommended, wear one. We can help you understand which options are best for your mouth and your sport. 

Eating hard candy 

If you feel hard candy is a good alternative to chocolate, we urge you to reconsider. If you eat it slowly, hard candy coats your teeth in sugar, and that encourages tooth decay. If you chew hard candy, you risk breaking or chipping your teeth just as if you're eating ice! 

These are just a few tips based on some common bad habits we see. If you have questions about caring for your teeth, or if it’s time for your routine exam, we would love to see you! Schedule an appointment today by phone or online at our Sargon Dental location most convenient for you.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Prevent Tooth Loss as You Age

You can’t stop the aging process, but you can take steps to prevent tooth loss. Here’s what you need to know about how aging affects your teeth — and how you can help keep them healthy.
What are Overdentures, and Who Is a Candidate?

What are Overdentures, and Who Is a Candidate?

Missing teeth wreak havoc on your smile and can make even the simplest things, like eating and speaking clearly, quite difficult. If you can’t imagine waiting several months to replace missing teeth, you may want to consider overdentures.
Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cracked Tooth

Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth may seem like something you can grin and bear, but even minor cracks can lead to severe complications over time. Read on to learn why you should always pay attention to a cracked tooth and explore the available treatments.
What Is Bone Grafting and Who Needs This Procedure?

What Is Bone Grafting and Who Needs This Procedure?

Your jawbone holds your teeth firmly in place. But bone loss can cause loosening teeth and make it hard to get a successful restoration, like a dental implant. That’s where bone grafting comes in. Find out how it works and what it’s good for.
What Causes Dry Mouth and How Can I Get Rid of It?

What Causes Dry Mouth and How Can I Get Rid of It?

When you gulp water or any other healthy beverage, it barely provides relief for your dry, parched mouth. It isn’t your imagination: Dry mouth can lead to complications. Luckily, you can treat it. But it takes more than water.

Should You be Using an Electric Toothbrush?

Brushing twice and flossing daily is the minimum required for good oral health. However, you may wonder if you have the best tools for the job. Is a manual toothbrush the best choice, or do electric toothbrushes offer added benefits?