7 Bad Habits That May Be Ruining Your Teeth

Nov 09, 2022
7 Bad Habits That May Be Ruining Your Teeth
Millions of Americans experience avoidable dental problems that can lead to health complications later in life. Luckily, certain lifestyle changes can help keep your teeth healthy.

Keeping your mouth healthy means reducing the risk of bacteria building up and creating problems in your gums and teeth. Yet nearly 80% of Americans have at least one cavity by age 17, and millions are at risk for more cavities and other consequences of bad dental hygiene. 

If you live in the Frisco, Texas area, Dr. Alecia Hardy and our skilled team at Frisco Dental Implant Center can help you avoid dental problems, starting with recommendations of lifestyle changes. To find out which lifestyle choices may lead to dental caries (tooth decay) and other dental issues, let’s examine the habits that affect your teeth, some common oral conditions, and what you can do to prevent dental problems in the future. 

Habits that affect your dental health

If you perform one or more of these habits regularly, you could be doing more damage to your teeth.

1. Not cleaning your teeth

Food is chewed in your mouth and travels down the esophagus for further digestion, but the particles and bits of food left in your teeth and gums can build and lead to cavities if you don’t clean your teeth regularly. Brushing, rinsing, and flossing help to remove dangerous bacteria and food byproducts that can damage your teeth and create long-term problems for your health.

2. Teeth grinding

This habit can be caused by stress or anxiety, and can even happen while you’re asleep. Grinding your teeth may not only damage them, but it can also create problems in your jaw and its related muscles.

3. Using the wrong toothbrush

Even if you take care of your teeth, the wrong tools can harm them. Using hard-bristled toothbrushes on your teeth and gums can damage both, wearing away at your teeth and inflaming your gums.

4. Using tobacco

Cigarettes and other tobacco products are very dangerous for your health for many reasons, but for your teeth and gums, they increase the risks of periodontal disease (gum disease), halitosis (bad breath), dental caries, and oral cancer.

5. Using teeth as tools

Clenching objects with your teeth and pulling (to open packages, for example) increases the chances of damaging your jaw or cracking your teeth.

6. Bad dietary choices

Consuming lots of sugary foods and soft drinks feeds the bacteria in your mouth and weakens the enamel on your teeth, causing dental caries and other dental problems.

7. Crunching or sucking

Crunching down on things like hard candy or ice can increase the risk of breaking a tooth, which can make eating other foods more difficult and lead to tooth pain. 

Common oral conditions

Toothaches, loose teeth, tooth discoloration, bleeding or swollen gums, gum pain, jaw clicking, and other symptoms of dental problems are due to a variety of dental conditions that can be caused by the habits mentioned above. They commonly result from conditions like dental caries, periodontitis, gingivitis, tooth sensitivity, tooth erosion, and chipped or cracked teeth.

Even worse, long-term dental problems also increase the risk of other diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and oral cancer. 

Prevention and treatment

Simple lifestyle changes can help a great deal to reduce dental problems, such as brushing, rinsing, and flossing regularly, reducing sugary foods and drinks, using soft-bristled toothbrushes to reduce damage to teeth and gums, and not smoking. Also, avoid crunching down on ice, and don’t open things with your teeth. Regular dental checkups are important to monitor issues with current dental problems and prevent new ones.

If you have any of these habits that can damage your teeth and gums, we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Hardy and Frisco Dental Implant Center today to get the dental care you need.