Do you know some of our daily habits can wreak havoc on our oral health? Read on what the dentist in Palo Alto- 94020, 94022, Atherton- 94027, San Mateo- 94010, 94401, Fremont- 94536, 94537, and San Jose- 94088, 94089, 95008, have to say about those damaging habits to oral health.
Nail biting is a common habit that can cause a number of oral health issues. Even if you’re not particularly aggressive when you chew away at your fingernails or other hard materials, you still subject your teeth to excess pressure and damage over time. Over time, this can lead to the development of chips and cracks in your teeth as well as potential tooth loss.
Using Teeth as Tools
People use their teeth for many things besides chewing food – from opening containers and bottles to cutting string or tags off of clothing. While these are harmless activities, they can damage your teeth in the long run. For instance, when we use our teeth to rip open a bag of chips or a soda can, we are putting our enamel at risk of cracking or chipping.
In addition, using your teeth as tools can cause your fillings to loosen over time. Therefore, it’s best to avoid these activities as much as possible to prevent costly dental procedures in the future!
Chewing Ice Cubes
Ice cubes tend to get stuck in the crevices of your teeth and cause damage over time. They also cause your enamel to erode and weaken.
Other acidic foods and drinks such as lemons, grapefruit, and soda can have the same effect on your teeth, causing erosion and weakening of the protective enamel layer.
If you’re craving something cold to drink – try water or a sugar-free drink like tea or flavored water instead.
Crunchy snacks like potato chips or pretzels tend to be high in calories but low in nutrients. Because these types of foods don’t contain a lot of nutritional value, they sit in your mouth for a while without providing any health benefits. This increases your chances of tooth decay and gum disease. While the occasional snack is okay, you should aim to have a balanced diet that doesn’t revolve around snacking.
Thumb-sucking is something that many children do before they are even two years old. In fact, up to 80% of children between the ages of six months and three years suck their thumbs or fingers! The habit can cause a child to develop an overbite or underbite.
If the child continues past the age of seven, a habit like this can make them more likely to develop cavities in their mouth. This is because the constant pressure and motion can wear away enamel and cause decay. It can also wear away the gums around the upper front teeth and lead to an exposed tooth root. This can lead to pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and drinks. The pressure on the thumb can also flatten the roof of the mouth and prevent the normal growth of the palate, causing problems with speech development.
If you suspect your child is sucking his or her thumb excessively, be sure to talk with your dentist in Palo Alto- 94020, 94022, Atherton- 94027, San Mateo- 94010, 94401, Fremont- 94536, 94537, and San Jose- 94088, 94089, 95008 at their next appointment about how to break the habit.
Excessive teeth grinding and clenching are major causes of dental problems. Bruxism can lead to cracked teeth and damaged fillings. It can also lead to chronic headaches and facial pain. Many patients grind their teeth at night – luckily, we can prescribe a customized night guard to protect your smile! This oral appliance will minimize the effects of bruxism on your smile, allow you to sleep peacefully, and help to prevent future dental damage. Ask your dentist in Palo Alto- 94020, 94022, Atherton- 94027, San Mateo- 94010, 94401, Fremont- 94536, 94537, and San Jose- 94088, 94089, 95008 if a night guard is right for you.
Brushing Too Hard
Your dentist in Palo Alto- 94020, 94022, Atherton- 94027, San Mateo- 94010, 94401, Fremont- 94536, 94537, and San Jose- 94088, 94089, 95008 will tell you that brushing too hard can wear down tooth enamel and actually damage your teeth and gums over time. If you’re struggling with overbrushing or teeth grinding at night, talk to your dentist about ways you can prevent these issues.
If you want to discuss your concerns with your dentist, please call our dental office. We are serving patients from Palo Alto- 94020, 94022, Atherton- 94027, San Mateo- 94010, 94401, Fremont- 94536, 94537, and San Jose- 94088, 94089, 95008. We welcome patients with and without dental insurance and accept several payment methods, including credit card, cash, and check. If you currently do not have a dentist, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today. We look forward to helping you!
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