9 Bad Habits That May be Ruining Your Teeth

Though adult teeth are designed to last a lifetime, 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. What’s more, some 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. Add in the fact that 92% of adults and 42% of kids ages 2-11 have at least one cavity, and it’s clear preventive care is essential to preserving your oral health.

At Smile Design Manhattan, our dental professionals are dedicated to helping patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of 9 everyday bad habits that you may not realize may be ruining your teeth.

1. Slacking off on proper cleaning

This seems obvious, of course. But it bears repeating. Proper oral hygiene means you need to:

We know it can be tempting to brush off flossing. But don’t. Flossing dislodges food that gets stuck in between your teeth, where it settles in and forms plaque, enabling bacteria buildup and slowly erode your teeth.

As an alternative to flossing, as an addition to, consider using a water flosser systems that shoots powerful jets of water in between your teeth to remove debris.

2. Brushing too vigorously

Easy does it when it comes to brushing. Brushing too hard can damage your teeth and gums. Instead, brush your teeth gently, in circular motions on the surface, and use only soft-bristled toothbrushes to preserve your protective tooth enamel.

3. Nail-biting

Life, especially these days, can be stressful. Still, for your nails – and your teeth – avoid channeling that stress into biting your nails. Your fingernails are hard, and you can chip your teeth when chewing them. 

4. Grinding and jaw clenching

Clenching or grinding your teeth, also associated with stress, can wreak havoc on their teeth and jaws. Night grinding, in particular, can wear down your teeth. If you grind or clench, book an appointment so we can make you with a nightguard.

5. Chewing ice

Even more so than chewing on your fingernails, chewing on ice cubes can cause teeth to chip and even break.

6. Not wearing a mouth guard at game time

If your sport of choice involves the possibility of getting hit in the face, be sure to wear your sports guard for protection. Make an appointment, and we will outfit you with custom sports. 

7. Eating hard or gummy candy

Hard candy is doubly bad news: First off, as you slowly suck away at these sweets, the sugars linger in your mouth, which encourages tooth decay. Secondly, hard candy runs the risk of chipping or breaking your teeth. Soft, gummy candy is an equal enemy. Gummy bears and the like are packed full of sugar that sticks to your teeth. If you do indulge, be sure to brush your teeth and floss immediately afterward.

8. Smoking

Not good comes from smoking. And that’s certainly true when it comes to your oral health. This habit causes your teeth to yellow and is a leading cause of oral cancer.

9. Not visiting the dentist every six months

Bi-annual dental checkups and professional cleanings are a crucial part of your preventive care. Your dentist or hygienist can uncover hidden problems from tiny cracks or cavities in your teeth to the early signs of gum disease at these visits.

To learn more about preventive dentistry and all of your oral health care needs, call Smile Design Manhattan at 646-328-4401 or use our online system to request an office visit today.

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