Maintaining good dental health is important not only for our smiles but for our overall health. Studies have shown that poor dental health has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. Dental hygiene can be a difficult undertaking for many but did you know that some common habits make the job doubly difficult? Below you will find a list of some of the most common harmful habits to our dental health.
Harmful Habits Affecting Dental Health
-Smoking/Tobacco Use. Smoking and tobacco use have been studied extensively over decades of use and have shown to be harmful to our overall health including our oral health. Not only does it stain our teeth and cause periodontal disease, it also increases your risk for oral cancers. While stains may be difficult to remove they are not life threatening like oral cancer. The best defense against oral cancer is prevention and early diagnosis. Regular oral examinations by your dentist using a Velscope is a great way to detect any changes to your oral tissues. The Velscope is a special light that can point out areas of change to the dentist. Ask your dentist if they use a Velscope to help protect you against oral cancer.
-Oral Piercings. This includes tongue, lip, and even cheek piercings. The metal from the piercings can cause damage to the teeth and gum tissues. Fractures of teeth and gum recession are common in those with oral piercings. Infection is another risk factor as food can get trapped in and around them leading to a possible oral infection.
-Using Your Teeth As A Tool. Our teeth are meant to chew our food, speak properly, and enhance our smiles not to be sued as pliers or bottle openers. These habits can lead to fractures and cracking of teeth.
-Brushing Too Hard. It is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush with regular even pressure. Brushing too hard or using too hard a brush can actually damage our teeth and cause gum tissue damage. You want a toothbrush where the bristles are firm enough to remove plaque, but soft enough not to cause damage.
-Rethink Your Drink. Drinking sugary drinks can lead to increased tooth decay but most are not aware of the acidic content in many soft drinks. The acid can also lead to tooth decay and erode our tooth enamel. It is important to have regular professional cleanings and dental examinations to minimize damage from these drinks. A good tip is to drink with a straw to avoid these drinks from coming in contact with your teeth.
-Cool It On Chewing Ice. Ice cubes may seem harmless but are quite dangerous to our teeth. The cold temperature and the hardness of ice cubes can do definite damage to your teeth. Crunching ice with your teeth may seem easy, keep in mind, that even your kitchen blender requires special blades to crush ice.
Harmful Habits Conclusion
Some of these habits are difficult to break but it is necessary to keep your dental health at its optimum. Regular dental examinations and professional cleanings are necessary to catch any damage that may begin to occur as a result of these oral habits.