9 Common Bad Habits That Can Ruin Your Teeth

You only get one set of permanent teeth to last the rest of your life, which is a major incentive to take care of them. Along with brushing, flossing, and a professional cleaning every six months, that may also mean breaking some everyday bad habits. 

Julie Strauss, DMD of Strauss Dental in Oregon City, knows this first-hand. Here are the 9 everyday practices she tells patients to avoid.

1. Brushing too hard

Everyone knows brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the cardinal rule of maintaining a  healthy smile. But did you know that you can, and many people do, brush too vigorously? Brushing too hard or using a brush with stiff bristles can wear down tooth enamel and cause gum recession and sensitivity.  Chewing ice 

Are you tempted to chew on those small half-melted ice cubes at the bottom of your glass? Don’t. You can chip or crack your teeth and damage dental work, such as crowns or veneers. 

2. Nail-biting

Nail-biting isn’t just bad for your nails. Regularly biting your nails can also cause teeth to shift out of place and damage tooth enamel. Also, the bacteria on your fingers or nails can linger in your mouth and cause bad breath.

3. Eating excessive sweets

Who doesn’t love cookies and cake? The answer is your teeth! When sugar mixes with saliva and bacteria in your mouth, the result is plaque, a sticky film that can dissolve tooth enamel, leading to cavities, decay, and gum disease.

4. Use your teeth as a tool

Using your teeth instead of scissors or a bottle opener is a bad idea and a good way to chip or crack your teeth and damage dental work.

5. Clenching and grinding

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can wear teeth down over time and cause TMJ pain. Dr. Strauss can make you a custom-fitted night mouthguard to prevent grinding or clenching while you sleep.

6. Playing sports without a mouthguard

Whether you’re making touchdowns or shooting goals, make wearing a mouthguard part of your standard equipment when playing contact sports. Dr. Strauss can make you a custom sports mouthguard for optimal comfort and protection.

7. Smoking

No good comes from smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products. They stain teeth and can promote gum and tooth deterioration and cause oral cancer.

8. Oral piercing

This is a trend you’re better off not following. Biting down on the metal stud can crack a tooth, as can lip piercings. The mouth is also a haven for bacteria, and piercings increase the risk of infections and sores. 

9. Skipping bi-annual dental cleanings

Bi-annual dental cleanings and checkups can prevent most dental diseases. Still, up to 100 million Americans don’t visit a dentist even once a year. The examination portion of a routine dental appointment enables detecting any potential problems before they become major ones. A dental exam includes checking your jaw, neck, and mouth for abnormalities.

If you’re due for a bi-annual cleaning and checkup, contact Strauss Dental. Call the office at 503-656-2139 or request an appointment online.


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