The benefits of good oral health are well known and espoused by dental professionals the world over.
Regular brushing and flossing, routine checkups and cleanings are critical.
But what if you do all of that, yet your oral surgeon is still concerned about your oral health? Maybe your teeth are loose or discolored, your enamel is worn down or your gums are tender and swollen.
Certain bad habits could be to blame, as they have the potential to damage your teeth and degrade your oral health. Kicking a habit is no easy task, but if you can modify these behaviors, both your oral and overall health will benefit greatly.
Quit Smoking to Boost Your Oral Health
No list of bad habits would be complete without mentioning smoking and other forms of tobacco use. But why is smoking so destructive to oral health?
You probably already know that smoking can heighten your risk of many types of cancer, and in fact, is a leading cause of throat and oral cancers. Smoking also increases the likelihood of gum disease and tooth loss. At a minimum, it causes yellowing and staining of the teeth.
Quitting smoking is easier said than done, of course. Your oral surgeon or medical doctor can offer some tips. Until you are able to quit, however, be extra diligent about maintaining your oral hygiene. Have frequent professional dental cleanings and oral cancer examinations, and be sure to perform a monthly oral cancer self-check.
Stop Using Your Teeth as Tools for Improved Oral Health
Do you bite your nails? Or have you ever used your teeth to rip open a bag of chips or to tear the tag off a new item of clothing?
Your teeth should never take the place of scissors, pliers or a bottle opener. When you use your teeth as tools, you risk weakening or even breaking them. This behavior can also destroy teeth’s protective enamel, which makes them more susceptible to decay.
Keep real tools handy so that you won’t resort to using your teeth. You may even consider carrying a small multi-tool in your pocket or purse. Taking the extra time to grab a real tool could save you from having to deal with dental problems in the future.
Cut the Ice Crunching for Better Oral Health
Gnawing on ice seems harmless, but it can actually be quite destructive to your teeth.
Cold temperatures make the teeth more susceptible to fracturing, and chewing ice can wear down tooth enamel. Ice also can cause fillings to contract and become more fragile.
Crushed ice is less harmful to the teeth than large cubes, but even this can still lead to dental issues. Instead, try reaching for sugarless gum when you feel the urge to munch on something.
Other bad habits — such as biting on pens and using a hard-bristled toothbrush — can also lead to problems with your teeth and gums.
For comprehensive treatment in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere, schedule a consultation with the experienced professionals of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving South Jordan and the greater Salt Lake City area.
It is always our first priority to help you and your family maintain your oral health and well-being.