Dental Guides

5 Bad Oral Health Habits to Break in 2014

In the New Year, many people choose to make lifestyle changes and stick to resolutions in order to improve themselves and their lifestyles for the better. One of the most important changes you can make in 2014, is to be more mindful about your oral health and hygiene. Here are 5 bad oral health habits to break in 2014 for a healthier, happier you!

  1. Stop crunching! You finish sipping on a soda, and crunch on the remaining ice once your drink is all gone. Harmless, right? Wrong. Crunching on hard things like ice, popcorn kernels and even fruit pits can do serious damage to your pearly whites! The stress caused by crunching can actually cause microscopic fractures in your teeth that can become more pronounced with time and continuous crunching. These are also spaces where cavities can form! This call all lead to tooth decay. Try chewing on crushed ice instead as a start and if you need something to curb your crunch craving, try eating a healthy safe snack like baby carrots.
  2. Don’t use your teeth as a tool. Too often people use their teeth to open a bag of chips, unscrew a cap, or rip off a tag from a piece of clothing. While this may seem convenient and easier than getting the proper tool like a knife or scissor, it actually wrecks havoc on your teeth. Using teeth as tools can traumatize them, causing them to weaken and even chip off!
  3. Tooth grinding is common for many people whether you do it unconsciously during the day or unknowingly at night while you sleep. Teeth grinding is often a result of stress or anxiety. If you grind during the night, you can buy or ask your dentist to prescribe a mouth guard that can protect your teeth from this grinding, reducing the strain and pressure caused. If you grind during the day, it may just be a matter of becoming aware of this habit and channeling this anxious energy into something else like a stress ball or yoga poses
  4. Toss your firm tooth brush. Sometimes people believe the firmer the brush, the better it will be at removing stains and debris form your teeth. This is false. You actually want to use a soft bristled brush since this will reduce the wear on the enamel of your teeth. Also, soft bristles are better for protecting your gums which can be easily irritated by harsh, hard bristles.
  5. Finally, make sure you are brushing and flossing properly and frequently enough. You should brush at least two times per day, and preferably after each meal as well for the best results. Switch our your toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush once every 3 or 4 months/ You also need to floss at minimum once each day. Be sure that you are flossing correctly by asking your dentist or dental hygienist for tips. You may use regular floss on a spool or a type that comes on a convenient plastic stick such as “Plackers”.

Dr. Charles McCluer-Fort Worth Dentistry and all dentists recommend kicking these poor oral hygiene habits in exchange for healthy, safe routines. Make a change for the better in 2014 and improve your oral hygiene significantly by starting to use these tips today!

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