Normally, flossing or brushing your teeth regularly is enough to keep harmful bacteria or plaque under control, which is responsible for causing tooth decay and gum disease. That’s precisely why it’s essential to brush one’s teeth regularly in order to prevent plaque from building up.
However, just like how tooth brushing or flossing can slow down plaque buildup, some habits can speed up plaque accumulation in your teeth. If you’ve been suffering from dental problems lately despite brushing your teeth twice or even thrice a day, there’s a huge chance that your daily routine consists of some of these bad habits, and that has to stop.
For that reason, this guide will talk about nine daily habits that are slowly ruining your oral health.
Bad Habits for Oral Health
1. Smoking Or Vaping
Due to the nicotine, smoking is probably one of the worst habits you can develop if you’re worried about your oral health. For your reference, when you inhale nicotine, it restricts blood vessels within your mouth, which then reduces blood flow on your gums and teeth. When that happens, the circulation of oxygen and nutrients would be disrupted, making it difficult for them to stay healthy. Nicotine also tends to reduce the saliva in your mouth, which can lead to dry mouth, leading to plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay. This applies to e-cigarettes as well since it uses nicotine.
The problem is the fact that it won’t be easy to put an end to this habit. So, while you’re working on that, consider visiting a dentist. They should be able to at least help you fix the damage that your smoking habits have already done. As a start, if you’re situated around Australia, consider visiting this dental clinic in Sydney.
2. Brushing Teeth Harshly
People often think that brushing the teeth more aggressively would make it more effective, but that’s not true at all. In fact, when you brush your teeth this way, what you’re doing is simply putting too much pressure on the tooth’s surface, wearing away its enamel covering. When the enamel is worn out or missing from your teeth, it becomes more susceptible to decay and cavities.
Furthermore, putting too much pressure when brushing can also hurt the gums, which may cause a recession. Take note that this may also happen when you use a worn-out toothbrush–no longer as soft as it was.
3. Biting Your Fingernail
While it’s true that your teeth are much tougher than your fingernails, over time, nail-biting can lead to severe damage to your gums and teeth, much like how water erodes rocks.
The friction from grinding your fingernails and teeth may also eliminate a huge portion of the enamel. In the worst-case scenario, the grinding may put too much pressure on the teeth and cause them to crack or chip.
You also have to take into account that your fingers may have germs and other microorganisms that can be transferred to your mouth, which can lead to gum disease. This may also increase your risk of developing bruxism, which is a condition where you develop a habit of grinding your teeth, causing some serious damage to your teeth.
4. Opening Packages With Your Teeth
It’s a common habit to use one’s teeth as an opening tool, like for opening packages, bottles, and more. If you have this habit, you might want to stop doing this since it’s no different from grinding your teeth. Unfortunately, this habit is quite difficult to fix, so it’s best if you keep a bottle opener or scissors nearby to eliminate the need to use your teeth.
5. Snacking Way Too Often
When you eat too often, more food particles will accumulate on the surface of your teeth, which is bad news since these particles can attract harmful bacteria. Apart from that, eating sweets can also speed up the buildup of plaque, which, as mentioned before, can cause tooth decay.
This applies to snacks such as chips, crackers, pasta, bread, and those that contain starch. This is mainly because starch can break down into simple sugars, ruining your oral health.
6. Going Overboard On Citrus Fruits
Eating citrus fruits too often can also negatively affect your oral health in a different way from the previous subject. As you may already know, citrus fruits are acidic, and acid is known to erode enamel. Hence, eating fruits or citrus juices often causes your enamel to dissolve, leaving your teeth vulnerable to dental problems.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should no longer eat fruits. You simply have to take it in moderation and be mindful of the amount you’re eating, especially when it comes to citrus fruits.
7. Drinking Too Much Coffee
If you didn’t know, coffee is a highly acidic drink. So, just like how you should avoid eating too many citrus fruits, you should also limit your coffee consumption. On the bright side, there are coffee varieties with a low acid content, so you can still enjoy your favorite beverage while keeping your oral health at bay.
8. Chugging Sports Drink During Workout
Intense workouts can easily cause someone to dehydrate, but that doesn’t warrant excessive drinking of sports drinks. For one, it’s generally harmful to the body, fatal even, due to its massive amounts of minerals that, if taken in high amounts, can lead to harmful effects. But, more importantly, sports drinks often contain a lot of sugar, which can contribute to tooth decay. You still need to find a way to hydrate, and what better way to do so than drinking water instead.
9. Forgetting To Drink Water
Not many people know that water contains all sorts of nutrients. One particular nutrient that would come in handy when taking care of your oral health is fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that prevents cavities by enhancing the acid resistance of your enamel, allowing it to stay healthy despite the acidic content of what you eat. Hence, it’s advisable to drink water every time you eat snacks or meals.
Drinking water also removes some food particles from your mouth, which is what attracts harmful bacteria in the first place.
Your oral health is an essential part of your overall health. In fact, dental problems are linked to serious disorders, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Hence, putting effort into improving your oral health is an extremely important endeavor, especially if you’ve already done enough bad things to ruin your oral health.
Author Bio: Angela Smith
Angela Smith is a health advocate. She shares her knowledge and skills through blogging. Angela is married with two children. She loves gardening, cooking, yoga, and traveling.