6 Bad Dental Hygiene Habits to Avoid

Many of us have taken our healthy smiles for granted at one point or another, and are left to deal with the damage later on. If you are looking for ways to be proactive about your oral hygiene, then you may want to start by cutting these 6 habits out of your life.

Aggressive Brushing

Even if you have the best intentions of thoroughly brushing to get rid of every speck of plaque or tartar build up, you may accidentally be hurting your teeth and gums. Instead of scrubbing as hard as you can, try to be a bit more gentle as you brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day.

It is also common for people to pick up a hard bristle toothbrush at the store when all that they really need is a soft brush. Manhattan Dental Arts will be sure to recommend a hard brush if it is truly needed, but patients should always be looking to use a soft bristle toothbrush unless instructed otherwise.

Young man brushing his teeth in bathroom

Grinding Your Teeth

Clenching the jaw and grating the teeth against one another is never good for a person’s oral health. Repeated damage inflicted on the teeth can cause them to wear down, chip, or crack. There can also be consequences for the muscles of your mouth as they can become very sore, which often leads to pain while talking or eating.

If you grind your teeth during the day, try to be more aware of when it happens and give yourself small breaks to practice relaxing the jaw. For those who grind their teeth at night while they are asleep, a mouthguard can be an easy solution to explore.

Misuse of Your Teeth

It can be all too easy to try and open something up with your teeth while you’re in a rush and feel you don’t have time to grab a pair of scissors or a knife. Though this type of situation can be tempting, it is certainly best to avoid. Take the extra few seconds to find the tool you really need when completing a task so that you can avoid injuring your mouth.

Nail Biting

Lots of individuals are guilty of nervously biting their nails from time to time. If this becomes a chronic issue, you may be more likely to suffer a chipped tooth or jaw dysfunction.

Although this habit can be particularly hard to break, start small as you work toward minor goals each day to reduce the amount of nail biting you do until it has eventually worked itself out of your routine. Applying nail polish can also help to deter you from biting your nails, as the bitter taste will serve as a sudden reminder if you start to unconsciously nibble at them during the day.

Chewing on Ice

Chomping away at hard ice cubes can quickly lead to a broken filling or tooth. Make a simple switch by asking for beverages without ice in them at a restaurant, or skipping on the ice cubes the next time you pour one for yourself.

Grazing Throughout the Day

Ideally, a person’s teeth should be left untouched for at least a few hours after they are brushed. This keeps the teeth free from leftover residues and sugars found in many of the foods we consume on a daily basis. By constantly munching on something, you never give your teeth a chance to be clean, and are instead repeatedly exposing them to cavity-causing bacteria.

Be sure to eat complete meals so that your body is supplied with plenty of nutrients to get you through the day and avoid reaching for more snacks. It is also best to prepare balanced meals that are low in fat and sugar. Both your teeth and your waistline will thank you for this one!

Seeking Dental Treatment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, NYC

If you have unfortunately suffered a chipped or cracked tooth, or are dealing with significant pain within your mouth, please contact Manhattan Dental Arts to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists right away. Early intervention truly is best, so don’t wait for things to get worse. Call (212) 247-2330 or request an appointment online today!