Wellness

Five Bad Habits That Affect Your Dental Health

Female sipping a drink through a straw and eating french fries.

Your smile is one of the best things about you! Start the new year right by kicking bad habits that affect your dental health. Don’t wait to visit your dentist until you have a serious concern. Instead, use your dental benefits regularly to maintain your healthy smile.

Good oral health starts with good dental habits. To prevent expensive and serious dental problems, learn about five common habits that affect your dental health and decide what you may need to change.

Limit your carbonated sodas.

Carbonated sodas contain sugars and acids that weaken tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. Try switching out soda for a glass of water or drinking with a straw to eliminate the exposure to your teeth.

Stop using your teeth as a tool.

Using your teeth to open a bag and chewing on plastic can cause cracking and wear down the natural enamel that is used to protect your teeth. Use your hands, scissors, or another sharp object to open items.

Avoid biting your nails.

Fingernail biting can cause stress on your jaw, chip your teeth, and damage your tooth enamel. Trim your nails regularly and opt to chew gum when you get the urge to bite your nails. Or even swap this habit with a harmless fidget toy such as a stress ball.

Quit the tobacco.

Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco is one of the leading causes of gum disease. It creates an infection that can affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. Quit this bad habit to protect your health and save money on expensive dental care.

Don’t grind your teeth.

While you may not realize you grind your teeth – you may do it while you’re sleeping – it can cause serious damage. Grinding teeth can cause jaw pain and even lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders. If you suspect that you grind your teeth, talk with your provider about the best solutions to correct this habit.

While these are just a few of the bad habits that can lead to dental problems, there are many more out there that can cause severe conditions. Taking charge of your personal hygiene and oral health is a great way to start the new year.

Remember, your dentist is on your side. Don’t be afraid to talk with your dentist about any problems you have noticed and ask for help when it’s needed. Preventing bad habits now can save you time and money spent in your dentist’s office in the future.

Want more resources?
Four Reasons to Visit the Dentist
Dental Insurance is an Investment in Yourself