There are many oral hygiene habits that can be beneficial to a patient’s oral health, but there are just as many habits that can be damaging to the teeth. By avoiding bad dental habits, our Rockville patients can protect the structure of the teeth and also help to prevent damaging dental complications. Because Dr. Victor R. Siegel is committed to helping patients maintain good oral health and get the most out of general dentistry services that preserve the health of the teeth and gums, he is happy to inform patients of some of the most damaging dental habits that should be avoided.
- Nail biting - Yes, nail biting is considered a dental habit. By biting the nails, patients push the teeth beyond the expected limits of force and pressure. When biting the nails, the enamel is more likely to weaken and wear down. As enamel is broken down, it becomes easier for tooth decay, infection, and other oral health problems to develop. The same can be said of biting on pen caps, bottle caps, or other hard objects.
- Bruxism - Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, can wear down the biting surfaces of the teeth and cause gum recession. Dr. Siegel can recognize the signs of bruxism and offer treatment, such as a dental mouth guard, to help patients avoid this harmful habit.
- Smoking - Like nail biting, smoking may not be primarily considered a dental habit, but it is a habit that can significantly affect the teeth and gums. Tobacco can cause the teeth to become discolored, but, more importantly, can also inhibit the body’s ability to fight infection. This increases the risk of gum disease and also makes it more difficult to successfully treat cases of gum disease.
- Consuming sugary and acidic foods and beverages - Most people like to occasionally splurge on foods or beverages that are especially sugary (colas, juice, candy) or acidic (wine, coffee, citrus), but if these foods and beverages are consumed too frequently, they can damage the teeth. Acids break down tooth enamel while sugars are a natural breeding ground for bacteria. Both increase the likelihood of tooth decay or an infection at the center of the teeth.
- Aggressive dental habits - Good oral hygiene habits are the best way to keep the teeth and gums clean, and avoid oral health problems such as tooth decay. However, if oral hygiene habits are not performed properly, they can actually be damaging. Many people brush the teeth too aggressively, causing damage to the tooth’s protective layer of enamel. This will leave the inner layer of the teeth vulnerable to decay and infection. To avoid this habit, continue to brush and floss regularly, but apply gentle pressure and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Schedule an Appointment
Avoiding bad dental habits can be beneficial to a person’s oral health, but a good oral hygiene routine is just as important and should include professional dental care. To learn more about the comprehensive range of dental treatments offered by Dr. Victor R. Siegel, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you.