Could You Be Ruining Your Teeth With These 5 Bad Habits?

You know the drill: brush and floss twice a day and get professional cleanings twice a year, otherwise you’ll have dental problems. However, while proper oral hygiene is an essential part of protecting your teeth, it’s only the beginning. And, unfortunately, most of us engage in bad habits every day that put our oral health at risk.

Dr. Peter Gambertoglio is an expert dentist with more than 30 years of experience in family and cosmetic dentistry in Spring, Texas. Keep reading to learn which habits he sees on a regular basis that can compromise your dental health.

1. Brushing too hard

Sure, brushing is an essential part of practicing good oral hygiene. But brushing your teeth too aggressively can cause just as many problems as not brushing at all. That’s because pushing too hard or using bristles that are too firm can start to wear down your teeth and gums. 

When you brush, focus on using a lighter hand and brush in small, gentle circles for approximately two minutes. Dr. Gambertoglio can offer additional tips on proper brushing techniques and make recommendations for the best toothbrush, depending on your teeth and gums. 

2. Abusing your teeth

Do you find yourself chewing on the ends of pens or pencils? Is it hard to resist the satisfying crack of an ice cube or piece of hard candy between your teeth? These are just a few examples of how you could be abusing your teeth without knowing it. 

Whether you’re chewing on a fingernail, piece of ice, or using your teeth to help tear open a package, you’re putting yourself at risk for breaks, cracks, or chips with every bite you take. Instead of abusing your teeth, save the chewing for items they’re designed for, like food.

3. Clenching or grinding your teeth

It can be hard to know if you’re clenching or grinding your teeth because you can do it without realizing it. But this serious problem can cause a wide range of damage to your oral health. 

Over time, jaw clenching — also known as bruxism — can wear your teeth and gums, and it can cause cracks and fractures to develop in your teeth. If you think you could be clenching or grinding your teeth, Dr. Gambertoglio can offer personalized treatment options to help preserve your oral health.

4. Using tobacco products

Need another reason to ditch the cigars, chewing tobacco, or cigarettes? It’s time to think about your oral health. Obvious issues associated with tobacco use include teeth staining and bad breath. But tobacco also increases your chances of gum disease and tooth decay. That’s because smoking reduces blood flow to your gums and decreases saliva flow in your mouth, both factors that can increase unhealthy levels of bacteria in your mouth. Using tobacco also increases your chances of oral cancers. 

5. Consuming too much sugar 

You probably already know that candy and soda are bad for your teeth. But did you know that other seemingly healthy things can cause just as many problems? 

When it comes to hidden sugar, some of the biggest culprits masquerading as healthy choices include cold-pressed juices, chewable vitamins, barbecue sauce, and dried fruit. These sugary items feed the bacteria in your mouth, which converts it to acid. Acid can wear away the enamel of your teeth and cause cavities to form.

Fortunately, you can take steps to have your favorite treats while protecting your teeth at the same time. Can’t give up your glass of cold-pressed juice? Dr. Gambertoglio recommends using a straw to keep it from touching your teeth and wait at least 45 minutes after consuming to brush your teeth. If you take vitamins, ditch the chewable, gummy options and choose a pill form instead. 

Last but not least, remember to brush and floss your teeth as soon as you finish eating, and don’t skip your regular professional dental cleanings.

For more tips on protecting your teeth, contact Dr. Gambertoglio by calling 716-265-6422 today.

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