It is an unfortunate, but common occurrence, for patients to come to Dr. Bruce Wilderman and question why their oral health is not what they’d like it to be. Many of these patients brush and floss regularly and see Dr. Wilderman twice annually for exams and cleanings, but still find themselves dealing with weak teeth, tooth decay, or oral pain. Restorative dentistry treatments can address oral health problems to provide patients with a stronger and healthier smile, but we like to help patients find the cause of these problems so that they can be prevented before they start. Common bad dental habits are often practiced by our Philadelphia patients who do not even realize the impact that these habits can have on the teeth and oral health.
Grinding and Clenching
Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism, is one of the most damaging dental habits. It puts a great deal of pressure on the teeth and this repetitive motion can easily wear down tooth enamel, which leaves the tooth even more vulnerable to decay or infection. Unfortunately, this is an unconscious habit that typically isn’t even noticed until damage has already occurred.
Biting on nails and other objects
Biting fingernails, chewing on pen caps, crunching down on ice cubes, all of these are habits that can damage the surface of the teeth. These habits are often just nervous reactions or simply a way to battle boredom, but they can wear down tooth enamel and can make it easier for bacteria to find its way to the center of your teeth.
Yes, smoking is bad for your lungs and is known to cause lung cancer and emphysema. Unfortunately, the negative impact of tobacco does not stop there. Smoking can also stain the teeth, increase the likelihood of gum disease, and cause or oral cancer.
Consuming sugary and acidic foods
What you put into your body is very important to your physical health, and also will affect oral health. Foods that are high in sugar and starches are likely to attract bacteria that can eat away at the teeth and cause tooth decay. Similarly, foods that are highly acidic can wear away tooth enamel and may also lead to decay or infection. It is best to limit the consumption of these foods and beverages and to brush the teeth or rinse the mouth with water after they are consumed.
Improper brushing techniques
Of course it is important to brush the teeth at least twice daily, but if improper techniques are being used, patients will not get the full benefit from their oral hygiene routine. In some cases, the teeth may be damaged by improper brushing techniques (such as the use of a hard-bristled toothbrush or using excessive force when brushing). Dr. Wilderman will be happy to discuss proper brushing and flossing techniques at your routine exam and cleaning.
Do not let poor dental habits prevent you from having the healthy, beautiful smile that you desire. To have the teeth examined and cleaned, and to learn about dental habits that will promote good oral health, contact us at your earliest convenience. Dr. Bruce Wilderman looks forward to helping you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed wanted.