Dental health is essential to everyone for many reasons. Not only does it affect a person’s appearance, but it is also critical for overall health. Poor dental health has been linked to several serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. It affects two-thirds of children in the United States by the time they reach the age of 12. Dental cavities are also one of the most common causes of school absences. As a result, people must take care of their teeth and gums.
Fortunately, most people are responsible enough to brush their teeth at least twice daily and see their dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. However, many people still use habits that can destroy their dental health. Here are some of the most dangerous practices:
If there is one true enemy of dental health, it is smoking. This habit of staining teeth causes bad breath and increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer risk. In fact, according to the CDC, smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers.
Smoking also decreases the success rate of dental implants and other procedures. It inhibits the healing process and makes it more difficult for the gums to reattach to the teeth. As a result, smokers often end up losing their teeth.
If you smoke, the best thing you can do for your dental health is to quit. There are many resources available to help you quit smoking for good. However, it will not be an easy journey. It is an addiction that requires professional help and a lot of willpower. If you want to minimize the damage smoking does to your teeth, you can use special toothpaste and mouthwash for smokers. You should also see your dentist more often for checkups and cleanings.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing is one of the most vital tasks for dental health, but it can also be your undoing. Brushing too hard can damage your gums and wear down your tooth enamel. As a result, you are more likely to develop gum disease, cavities, and other problems.
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle strokes when brushing your teeth is essential. You should also avoid using a sawing motion. Instead, use circular or back-and-forth strokes. If you are unsure if you are brushing too hard, ask your dentist to show you the proper technique.
In addition to brushing too hard, using a hard toothbrush can damage your teeth and gums. Stiff bristles can wear down tooth enamel and irritate gums. As a result, it is best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
A missing tooth might not be a concern for younger individuals, but it is a problem that should get addressed as soon as possible. A missing tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of place, making it more difficult to chew food. It can also lead to gum disease and bone loss in the jaw.
If you have a missing tooth, many options are available to replace it. Affordable dental implants are the best options because they look and function like natural teeth. The procedure is also relatively simple, and the recovery time is short.
Regardless of your choice, it is essential to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might have to deal with more serious dental problems.
Eating Sugary Food
Sweet tooth or not, you should limit your intake of sugary foods. Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. When you eat sugary food, the bacteria in your mouth convert it into acid. This acid then attacks your teeth and breaks down the enamel.
Limiting your intake of sugary food and drink is best to avoid tooth decay. When you do eat sweets, make sure to brush your teeth afterward. You can also rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum to remove some of the sugar from your teeth.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you should avoid sugary food and drinks altogether. You can still enjoy the occasional treat.
Clenching or Grinding Teeth (Bruxism)
Do you sometimes wake up with a headache or sore jaw? It could be due to bruxism, which is the act of clenching or grinding teeth. This habit can damage your teeth and cause TMJ disorders. It can also lead to headaches, neck pain, and earaches.
Talk to your dentist if you think you might be grinding your teeth at night. They can help you find the right solution for your problem. Sometimes, a mouth guard might be necessary to protect your teeth from damage.
Stay Healthy, Dentally
Many habits can destroy your dental health. Smoking, brushing too hard, eating sugary food, and missing teeth are all dangerous for your teeth and gums. If you want to keep your smile healthy and bright, it is essential to be aware of these habits and take steps to avoid them.