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4 Habits That Are Destroying Your Teeth

woman biting nails

Even if you brush twice a day, floss each night, and visit our dental office in Buckhead at least twice a year, you may be doing other things that could be damaging your smile… and you may not even know it. Today we’d like to talk about some of the most common smile-damaging habits and offer ways to help you break them.

Brushing Your Teeth

Yes, your dentist in Buckhead just said that brushing your teeth can be causing damage to your smile, but there’s a catch. Brushing your teeth with a hard toothbrush can cause gums to recede. Once the protective gum tissue goes away from the tooth, you can experience painful sensitivity and, if left untreated, could eventually cause gum disease or even tooth loss. Use a soft-bristled brush.  Also some toothpastes, especially ones that claim to be “whitening”, can be very abrasive and wear the enamel of your teeth.  If you are someone who likes to brush multiple times a day, and we love when people do that, only use toothpaste twice a day.  Brushing your teeth without toothpaste in between is just as effective at removing the damaging plaque around your teeth.   

Biting Your Nails

This is one of two habits that’s not only dangerous for your oral health, but also your overall health (we’ll get the other one is just a bit). Nail biting can introduce all sorts of bacteria that are hiding under nails into your system. And as we know, bacteria isn’t good and can make us sick. In reference to your oral health, biting your nails can lead to jaw issues as well as tooth damage. The position your jaw is in while nibbling on nails can place unnatural pressure on the joint. Doing this repeatedly over years can result in jaw pain or TMJ/TMD. Nails are also made of a hard material, and hard material doesn’t mix well with teeth. Biting nails can lead to chips or cracks in your teeth. To help you break the habit, try using a bitter-tasting nail polish (it even comes in clear if you’re not into colorful nails) to make putting nails to mouth less appealing.

Smoking or Using Tobacco 

We mentioned we’d be talking about another habit that’s both dangerous to oral health and overall health… smoking or any type of tobacco use.. It’s fairly common knowledge that using tobacco can lead to all sorts of health problems, but it can also cause some pretty scary oral health issues. Not only can tobacco in any form cause yellow teeth, it can also increase risk for oral cancer or gum disease, which bring on a whole set of problems of their own. We encourage anyone who uses tobacco to try to quit. We know it’s incredibly hard, but we know you can do it.

Clenching and Grinding

Clenching and grinding teeth is common.  It occurs both while people are sleeping as well as when they are awake.  Most of the time it occurs subconsciously, but sometimes you will be aware of it happening. Although it is true you will have a tendency to put your teeth together more when under stress, it also happens when you are not feeling stressed.  No matter when it happens, the results are usually the same. People who clench or grind their teeth can experience headaches, jaw pain, and suffer from TMJ/TMD. What’s more, damage to teeth or dental restorations can also occur.  We will do a thorough exam of your whole system of joints, muscles, and teeth and determine what is the most conservative management of your clenching and grinding.

Even though our Buckhead dental office is all about preventing dental problems before they arise, we know that issues will still occur, sometimes as a result of any of the habits listed above. If you ever encounter a problem with your smile, we always welcome you to give us a call.

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