You can stop hitting snooze on your alarm to get more out of your day. You can cut back on screen time to help improve your mood. But what about the behaviors that you can ditch to boost your dental health? Here are five bad dental habits to break for a healthier smile in 2022:
- Brushing too hard: You may think you can get your teeth cleaner by scrubbing them harder. However, using too much pressure while brushing does more harm than good. It can lead to problems such as premature enamel wear and receding gums. Try not to push down so hard. Also, consider switching to soft bristles and nonabrasive toothpaste.
- Biting your nails: Nail biting is a common nervous habit that can hurt your oral health. Unfortunately, the friction of your nails might damage your teeth or dental restorations. It can also introduce germs into your mouth. Nail-biting can even stress out your jaw joints.
- Snacking constantly: When you eat sugary and starchy foods, the bacteria in your mouth produce acids that wear down your tooth enamel. The more frequently you eat, the more you expose your teeth to these acid attacks. In addition to snacking less often, you can also try to drink more water and eat healthier foods to combat these effects.
- Chewing ice cubes: Do you often feel tempted to bite the crushed ice left behind after you finish a drink? For many people, this can be very satisfying and help with boredom. But it can also chip or crack a tooth, damage a crown, or loosen a porcelain veneer! Talk to your doctor if you have intense ice cravings, as that may signal a nutritional deficiency.
- Grinding and clenching: Bruxism is the term for excessive grinding and clenching of the teeth. It can happen while you sleep. It can also be an unconscious response to stress during the day. Regardless, is important to seek treatment for bruxism due to the effects it can have on your teeth and jaw. You may notice issues such as uneven tooth wear, facial soreness and pain, and other symptoms if you let it go unaddressed.
Start Your Year with a Dental Checkup
A year of great dental health starts with a dental checkup! Our experienced dentists offer a wide range of general and cosmetic services designed to bring out the absolute best in your smile.
Call one of the following four office locations to schedule your visit: Hillsborough: 402-445-4647, Village Pointe: 402-505-7474, Ralston Square: 402-733-4441, or Dundee: 402-502-5593.