Our 32 adult teeth serve valuable purposes. They help us chew food and contribute to certain kinds of speech sounds. Although tooth loss can occur with age, we should practice good dental hygiene to hold onto our teeth as long as possible. When we begin losing them, it can affect the shape of the mouth, how we chew and digest food, the way we speak, and our general appearance. Avoid these bad habits to avoid losing your teeth.
- LIMITED BRUSHING: Dentists recommend brushing your teeth with toothpaste and clean water after eating. This includes snacks. In fact, many dentists discourage frequent snacking, as certain popular snack foods contain sugar or a crunchy texture that can harm teeth. Even worse, people don’t typically brush their teeth after eating between meals. If you can’t brush after snacking, at least privately rinse your mouth with water to remove some of the food debris or beverage residue.
- RARE FLOSSING: Everyone should floss at least once a day if not after every meal. Flossing helps to remove food particles between the teeth and below the gum line where toothbrushes can’t reach. Regular flossing can keep your gums healthy by reducing or eliminating inflammation that may lead to periodontal disease.
- NAIL BITING: Avoid chewing on your fingernails or ice, or anything else that can damage your teeth. Some people unconsciously chew pencils or other objects that can wear down their teeth or cause their bite to become misaligned. Don’t bite anything except dental-friendly food to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- USE TEETH AS SCISSORS: You might be tempted to break thread in two with your teeth if you don’t have a pair of scissors handy. Some people tear the rind off of citrus fruits with their teeth. Using your teeth as a sharp object to bite, peel, or cut non-food items may cause a tooth to chip, crack, or even get twisted over time.
- HAVE BRUXISM: It’s not unusual to grind your teeth spontaneously, often due to nerves, frustration, or anger. Some people grind their teeth at night while sleeping and have little control over the habit. However, bruxism in any form can wear down your teeth edges and affect the way you eat and speak. Talk to your dentist about this problem if you have it.
By avoiding bad dental habits like these, you can protect your teeth and keep them in good condition for years to come. Take action now to practice effective dental hygiene and stop mistreating your teeth before they are permanently damaged.