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Avoiding Bad Dental Habits

Avoiding Bad Dental Habits

Avoiding Bad Dental Habits

Bad dental habits are one of the leading causes of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. If you already suffer from dental damage, restorative dentistry treatments can help repair a range of dental issues to improve dental function and appearance. You can help protect your oral health and prevent dental damage by avoiding bad dental habits. Chicago dentist Craig S. Kohler offers these tips to for avoiding bad dental habits.

How to Avoid Bad Dental Habits

In order to avoid bad dental habits, it’s important to understand which habits are bad for your oral health.

  • Skipping flossing: Daily flossing reduces the risk of gum disease and helps prevent tooth decay along the gum line and between the teeth. When flossing, you should run the floss up and down along each side of each tooth and as far into the gum line as possible.
  • Not brushing regularly or brushing inadequately: Brushing the teeth removes plaque, food, and bacteria from the teeth, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, however, even if you brush twice a day, you may have developed some bad brushing habits. Some bad brushing habits include brushing too fast, using an old toothbrush, and not properly cleaning the gum line. Avoid bad brushing habits by brushing for a full two minutes every time you brush, using small circular strokes while holding the brush at a 45-degree angle (to better reach below the gum line), and replacing your toothbrush every three months.
  • Aggressive brushing: Of course, skipping brushing is bad for oral health, but many people are surprised to learn the way we brush our teeth may be doing more harm than good. Using too much pressure, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, or both can damage the outer enamel layer of the teeth, leaving the teeth vulnerable to decay. Avoid using heavy pressure when brushing and switch to a soft-bristled brush to reduce the risk of enamel damage.
  • Skipping regular dental exams or putting off treatment: Regular dental exams and cleanings should occur every six months to catch any signs of dental damage or other oral health issues early. Besides skipping regular exams, avoiding treatment for oral health issues is another bad habit to avoid. Putting off treatment can lead to major dental problems, which may require expensive, time-consuming treatment.
  • Chewing on hard objects: Chewing on items, like metal pen caps, plastic pen caps, or fingernails, or simply using the teeth to open packages, are bad habits that can chip or fracture the teeth. If you must chew on something, try chewing on a sugar-free gum, which is much safer for the teeth.

Practice Proper Dental Care

Avoiding bad dental habits is only one part of the oral health puzzle. Just as important as avoiding bad dental habits is practicing proper dental care. Be sure to brush at twice a day for a full two minutes using proper technique and floss at least once a day. You should also see your dentist every six months for a regular examination and cleaning.

Schedule an Appointment

For more tips on how to avoid bad dental habits or to discuss your treatment options, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kohler.