Since we were all just children, whether we were would-be dentists or otherwise, we heard the same advice. Don’t sit too close to the television because you’ll get square eyes, and always brush your teeth. This advice has been given to all of us, but did you know there’s far more to maintaining your dental health than just brushing your teeth twice a day? For example, there are some lifestyle habits that you might be guilty of that’re affecting your teeth… Here’s 3 habits your dentist wants you to break!
Any health professional and most members of the public will acknowledge that smoking is bad for you, but if it comes as a surprise that it affects your dental health then you might not have been spending enough time with us! Smoking can affect the colour of your teeth, yellowing and staining them, and also affect your breath. Your lungs are like sponges because they contain millions of alveoli that are tiny air sacs. Smoke particles can get trapped in these sacs and become dislodged when you breathe, cough, and talk. Because they have a habit of sticking around, smoker’s breath can often smell stale. Aside from these more cosmetic factors, smoking encourages the build-up of plaque and tartar that often needs to be professional removed. It’s also been linked to gum tissue function, loosening the attachment of your gums to your teeth, inflaming the tissue, and leaving you exposed to disease and infection. Your dentist definitely wants you to cut back on smoking for the sake of your teeth, lungs, and gums.
Chewing pen lids and fingernails
Absent-mindedly chewing on things is a habit many people are guilty of. Chewing on hard objects that aren’t food and therefore can’t be broke down by our teeth and saliva can chip away at your enamel and ultimately your teeth. Over the long-term, such habits can cause the teeth to shift and move out of alignment. This habit is often seen a signifier of a different health concern, potentially stress or anxiety related. Talk to your dentist regarding any teething or chewing problems and we can offer you some friendly and empathetic advice.
Teeth grinding and clenching
Teeth grinding and clenching isn’t necessarily a conscious decision, so maybe we can’t hold you as accountable for this. You might not even realise you’re doing it! Known as bruxism, grinding and clenching happens most commonly during sleep or subconsciously at times of stress. It can be a difficult habit to break when it’s not intentionally performed. You might realise you’re experiencing headaches, jaw pain, facial muscle soreness, and sensitive teeth as a result of continued grinding. Extreme cases can even lead to tooth fractures and bone loss, so it’s important you seek treatment before you wear your teeth down too much. This limits the need for restorative dentistry and any subsequent health problems, this being more time-, health-, and cost-effective for you. Receiving a custom-made mouth guard might be something that could alleviate your symptoms, which your dentist will happily talk you through.
These are 3 of the most common habits your dentist wants you to be aware of and take steps towards breaking. Of course, if you’d like personal advice on how to crack these habits or some of your own that have gone unmentioned, then book your appointment with our dentist in Sleaford! Enquire online or speak to a member of the Sleaford Smile Centre team on 01529 304 136 today.