3 Bad Dental Habits and How to Break Them

multi color toothbrushesWhether you realize it or not, we all partake in a few bad dental habits. Some, such as smoking, a more obvious in the damage that they’ll do to our oral health, but even some simple, seemingly harmless everyday tasks can be doing long term damage to our teeth. Below are three bad dental habits and what you can do to break them.

Using your teeth as tools: We’ve all done it at one point or another, but using your teeth to tear open packaging, pull out a watch stem, or rip a stubborn price tag off of clothing is very traumatizing to them. Despite your teeth seeming like the strongest option at the time, using them to bite through plastic or bend metal can cause them to weaken and eventual chip or fracture. Be mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth and be sure to own a set of simple tools such as scissors and pliers to get the job done instead.

Grinding and/or clenching your teeth: Teeth grinding can occur at any time in the day and depending on the cause, you may not even realize how often you’re doing it. Teeth grinding can happen in those experiencing any kind of stress or anxiety, but it is also likely in those with an abnormal bite or who have missing or crooked teeth. Your Park Slope dentist may recommend you wear a mouth guard at night, which can be store bought or custom made. Learning some relaxation techniques, especially if the cause is stress, can be helpful as well. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker or consumer of caffeine in general, it may be a good idea to cut back as the extra spike in energy could be contributing to an increase in grinding.

Hard bristled toothbrushes: Believe it or not, your toothbrush may be doing more harm than good. Though some believe the firmer the brush, the deeper the clean, this isn’t the case at all. A hard bristled toothbrush can lead to gum irritation and even be the cause of more sensitive teeth due to the gums pushing back with age. Ask your Park Slope dentist about what type of toothbrush would be best suited to your teeth and save your teeth by sticking with soft or medium bristles.