Your teeth work hard for you. They enable you to chew and enjoy foods of a variety of textures. They give you a gorgeous smile. Without them, you would not be able to speak clearly. And let’s not forget the gums, those unsung heroes of your mouth. Without gums, you would not even have teeth.
With proper care, your teeth and gums can continue to look great and serve you well for the rest of your life. But if you abuse them, you risk cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and years of poor oral health.
Read on to learn about a few ways you may be mistreating your mouth without even realizing it. To learn more about bad dental habits and to schedule an appointment at Douglas A. Callow, D.D.S., call our Plymouth, MI dental office at 734-404-7336.
Nibbling on one’s fingernails is a surprisingly common behavior that has a number of potential consequences for oral health. It’s a nervous habit that you may not even realize you’re doing at the time. But if you are a chronic nail biter, it’s time to take steps to stop.
The habit may crack or break teeth, wear them down, weaken them, and even cause them to shift out of alignment or become misshapen. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates the nail biting may cost you up to 4k in additional dental bills over a lifetime.
Plus there is the issue of bacteria. You may transfer harmful bacteria from your nails to your mouth — and vice versa — potentially causing illness and tooth decay.
You know that what you eat matters. But did you know how you eat matters too? Yup, it’s true. If possible, it’s best to keep your food consumption to mealtime. It’s all about bacteria and the damaging acids they produce. When you eat just three times per day, you are basically subjecting your smile to three acid attacks post-meal. If you snack throughout the day, your tooth enamel is under constant barrage from those acids. A nasty film of bacteria will form over your teeth.
If you do crave a nibble, choose a tooth-friendly option. Crunchy fruits and veggies actually help keep your smile clean. Cheese provides calcium and has protective properties. Nuts are a filling low-sugar snack.
As you well know, tobacco use is bad for your entire body. It also harms your teeth and gums specifically. It stains your tooth enamel and tongue, makes your breath smell offensive, and makes you highly vulnerable to gum disease. Smokers take longer to heal from dental procedures, and they have higher dental implant failure rates. Plus, of course, the habit puts you at a high risk for developing oral and other cancers. If you are ready to quit, here are some helpful resources from the Centers for Disease Control.
Stop harming your teeth and gums and start treating them right by ending these bad dental habits. One habit you do want to keep up is that of regular cleanings and exams at Douglas A. Callow, D.D.S. Fill out our convenient online form or call our Plymouth, MI office at 734-404-7336 to request an appointment.