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Top Five Bad Dental Habits

Dr. Degel Jun 23, 2015

Woman looking in the mirror and touching her toothTaking care of your teeth requires daily diligence. Brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing at least once, and using mouthwash can help you maintain and improve your smile for many years to come. As part of our comprehensive general dentistry services, Dr. Degel and Dr. Every-Degel help patients learn how to care for their smiles. While most people know what they should do, many do not realize that aspects of their daily routines could actually be harming their oral health. In the following blog post, we describe the top five common bad dental habits we tend to see at our Queens dental practice.

1. Frequent snacking.

Munching between meals could be detrimental to your tooth enamel. Every time you eat, you expose your teeth to starches and sugars. Decay-causing bacteria feed on the sugars and starches. As they feed, they produce acids that wear through your enamel. Similarly, acidic foods like oranges can directly erode your teeth. The American Dental Association warns against snacking because the acids produced by nibbling “can stay in your mouth for up to 20 minutes after you eat. Frequent acid attacks can break down the enamel and cavities can develop.”

2. Overly aggressive brushing.

It might seem counterintuitive, but brushing your teeth too vigorously could actually harm them. If you brush too hard or use a brush with excessively rough bristles, this could damage your gum tissue and gradually erode your enamel. Dr. Degel and Dr. Every-Degel can help you find an appropriate toothbrush and teach you the proper technique for cleaning your teeth without damaging them.

3. Tooth grinding.

Many people clench their teeth together when they’re stressed or anxious, and this habit can be detrimental to your dental health. Bruxism can lead to TMJ disorder, a condition in which your temporomandibular joint (the joint that hinges your temple with your lower jaw) becomes stretched, misaligned, or otherwise damaged. Bruxism can also result in premature wearing of the teeth. At Astoria Dental Group, we can help you stop grinding by providing an oral appliance or administering BOTOX® injections. 

4. Opening packages or holding heavy items with your teeth.

Some people like to use their teeth as tools. While it might be more convenient to tear open a plastic package or hold the handle of a bag with your teeth, this bad habit can put undue pressure on your teeth, increasing your risk for dental damage like chips or fractures.

5. Drinking soda.

Soda is one of the most dangerous beverages for your smile. This sugary, syrupy drink tends to be acidic and carbonated, meaning that it wears away your enamel in multiple ways. Replacing your daily soda with water could improve your oral and general health.

Kick Bad Dental Habits and Enhance Your Smile

At Astoria Dental Group, we are committed to helping you improve every aspect of your dental health. In addition to beautifying your smile and repairing dental injuries, Dr. Every-Degel and Dr. Degel can help you modify your habits for better dental health. Contact our dental practice today to learn more about our treatments or schedule an appointment.

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