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Habits That Are Bad For Your Oral Health

Habits That Are Bad For Your Oral Health

Oral health plays an important role in our overall health. Though maintaining oral health is in our control, many dental problems occur due to poor oral habits. Listed below are some common bad oral habits that can cause damage to our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common bad habit among adults and children alike. It can lead to chipped nails and ingrown toenails. But it can also damage your teeth. Every time you bite down on your fingernails, your molars are applied with extra pressure. Over time, this can cause chips or cracks to form in your molars. It can also make it easier for harmful bacteria to enter the tooth enamel and cause decay. If left untreated, the tooth can eventually break or become loose. This can not only affect the appearance of your smile but cause problems with chewing function as well.

Small children may bite their fingernails out of anxiety or boredom. Older children and adults are more likely to bite their fingernails because they suffer from stress, are nervous, or are bored at work or school. Some people also bite their nails when they are concentrating and trying to relax at the same time. Regardless of the reason you bite your nails, it’s best to break the habit as soon as possible to prevent damage to your oral health as well as problems with appearance and confidence.

  • Smoking

Nicotine causes dry mouth by decreasing the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against tooth decay because it washes away food debris and neutralizes the acids produced by oral bacteria. Without enough saliva to protect the mouth, it can quickly become home to millions of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

In addition to causing bad breath, smoking also stains the teeth due to nicotine’s dark pigment properties. Smokers are more likely to get gum disease than non-smokers, which contributes to poor oral health. Gum disease can progress to periodontitis and cause tooth loss. To quit smoking for good, it’s best to consult your dentist for advice on the best treatment method for you. Also, your dentist can help provide resources to help you quit for good!

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Many people believe that if they brush their teeth harder, they will remove more plaque. Unfortunately, this is untrue. In fact, it’s not only ineffective, but it can also cause damage to your teeth and oral tissues over time. For instance, those with sensitive teeth may experience discomfort when brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush or aggressively. Over time, this can lead to receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss. More severe cases of brushing too aggressively may even result in enamel erosion and gum recession, which may require restorative treatment such as a dental implant.

If your dentist advises you to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and/or gentle technique at home, it’s a good idea to listen to their recommendation. It’s much better for your oral health in the long run!

  • Teeth Grinding

Many people grind their teeth at night without realizing it until the habit is noticed by their bed partner. Constant pressure on the teeth can leave them vulnerable to fractures, chips, breaks, and other damage. When teeth are worn down or damaged, they may need to be restored with crowns or veneers. Severe cases of grinding can also result in damaged tooth enamel and jaw discomfort. A custom-made nightguard can be made to help prevent damage from teeth-grinding. Nightguards are worn over the teeth and are made of soft plastic that is designed to fit comfortably and prevent the upper and lower teeth from touching. They are generally less bulky than sports mouthguards.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Using your teeth as tools is a bad habit because it can chip, crack or break a tooth. You should never use your teeth for anything other than chewing food. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body, but it can be broken or damaged with enough force. Using your teeth as tools may end with a dental crown to repair a fractured tooth. 

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

When patients don’t visit their dentists for regular check-ups and cleanings, they run the risk of cavities, gum disease, and several other oral health problems. Regular visits allow the dentist to detect and treat dental diseases before it becomes severe.

To learn more about best practices for oral health, call Bay Area Dental at (510) 350-8187 or visit our dental office at 3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609. Book your appointment with our dentist in Oakland, CA, to achieve the smile you have always wished for.


3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609

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MON Closed

TUE 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Phone: (510) 350-8187