Bad Dental Health Habits

A young blond woman chews her nails out of stress, a habit our Placerville dentists discourage.

The Placerville Dental Group has a few tips to help our patients maintain their oral health indefinitely. Besides seeing us regularly for your oral exam and cleaning, as well as brushing and flossing, what else can you do to keep your mouth healthy? Break bad dental habits!

Stop biting your nails.

Nail biting is a common way to deal with stress, but it’s not good for your mouth and jaw. It also makes your nails ragged and introduces germs into your mouth. Some patients have found success by recognizing the triggers that make them start biting their nails, while others have used bitter nail polishes to help them cut back. Whatever ends up working for you, set small attainable goals and reward yourself for not biting your nails!

Don’t brush too hard.

It’s good to be a conscientious brusher, but that doesn’t mean scrubbing your mouth with your toothbrush. Always use a soft bristle toothbrush. Make gentle circular motions when brushing each tooth twice a day, because brushing too hard will irritate your mouth and gums.

Consider a mouthguard.

If you are a jaw clencher or teeth grinder, think about getting a custom mouthguard from our Placerville dentists. Because grinding and clenching causes stress on your mouth and jaw, this results in headaches, tension and cracked teeth. A custom mouthguard will prevent all of these issues and can even help improve your sleep when worn at night.

Don’t chew on ice.

Ice is hard and teeth are hard, but when the ice wins, teeth crack or break. Why risk the pain and extra dental bills that come with repairing a broken tooth? Drink your cold beverage without ice if you are tempted to chew it.

Curtail grazing and snacking.

This can be hard when the holiday season has begun, but constant snacking isn’t good for your teeth. Cavity-causing bacteria create acids that break down tooth enamel and snacking all day creates the perfect storm for bacteria. Instead, eat healthy meals with a big glass of water. Sitting at the table and making time to eat and enjoy is healthier, reduces stress and contributes to weight loss!

Teeth are not tools!

They are for eating food, not opening packages or acting as an extra set of “hands.” Using teeth to tear open packages, or open a can, risks cracking them or injuring your mouth, lips and tongue. So if you’re in the habit of using your teeth as “extra helpers” to get a job done, think about whether it’s worth the risk of an emergency dental visit.
Your oral health is vital for a healthy body and the dentists and hygienists at the Placerville Dental Group are here to support you. Good dental health to you!

Placerville Dental Group
blog@placervilledentistry.com
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