Bad dental habits include more than skipping flossing and tooth brushing. Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, you may be practicing bad dental habits and not even know it! Fortunately, restorative dentistry treatments are available to improve oral health and repair the damage caused by bad dental habits. Avoid bad dental habits with these tips from San Antonio, TX dentist Chris Reger.
Avoiding Bad Dental Habits
Many oral health problems are caused by bad dental habits. By avoiding bad dental habits, you can help protect your smile from such damaging oral health issues as tooth decay, gum disease, root canal infections, and tooth loss. Here are some of the most common bad dental habits and tips on how to avoid them.
- Not regularly flossing: Flossing is one of the most effective ways to prevent gum disease, most commonly recognized by bleeding gums while brushing or flossing. Flossing removes plaque and bacteria, which cause gum disease, from between the teeth and along the gum line where brushing alone can't reach. You should floss at least once a day along each side of each tooth and as far along the gum line as possible.
- Not brushing at least twice a day: The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, generally in the morning and evening, to prevent tooth decay caused by plaque, bacteria, and food remnants.
- Brushing too quickly: Even if you brush twice a day, you may be guilty of a very common bad dental habit - brushing too quickly. In order to fully clean the teeth, it's important to brush for a full two minutes each time you brush. Use a timed electric toothbrush or pick a two-minute song to brush along with to help reach the two minute mark.
- Brushing too hard: Although it may seem like using heavy pressure or a hard-bristled toothbrush would clean the teeth better, it can actually cause damage, making brushing too hard a bad dental habit to avoid. Brushing with a heavy hand or a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear the protective outer layer of the teeth, the enamel, and put the teeth at an increased risk of decay. Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush can help reduce the risk of damage caused by brushing too hard.
- Not undergoing regular dental check-ups and cleanings: Skipping dental exams and cleanings can allow oral health problems to go undetected until they become severe. It's recommended that patients undergo a regular dental check-up and cleaning at least once every six months so any signs of damage or oral health issues can be caught early.
- Ignoring the signs of dental damage: Another bad habit to avoid is ignoring the signs of dental damage. If you begin to feel increased tooth sensitivity or pain, experience a dental injury, or notice something irregular with your oral health, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent such issues from becoming severe.
- Teeth grinding: Chronic teeth grinding is an extremely damaging dental habit. Long-term teeth grinding can wear the enamel down, fracture the teeth, and eventually result in tooth loss. Those who chronically grind their teeth should seek treatment to prevent dental damage.
Schedule a Consultation
For more tips on how to avoid bad dental habits or to discuss your treatment options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Reger.