Do you know many of our daily habits can adversely affect our oral health? Here are three unhealthy habits that can cause serious damage to your teeth and gums.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a habitual action that can be hard to break. People of all ages bite their nails out of nervous habit, boredom, or even stress. Nail biting can cause discoloration of the teeth and may also lead to teeth chipping as a result of rough biting surfaces. It can also lead to infection around the fingers from the cuticle being broken apart by constant grazing of the nails.

Here are some ways to break the habit:

  1. Provide a distraction:When you feel the urge to bite your nails, find something else to do instead. Try playing a game on your phone or opening a book. If your mind isn’t focused on your fingers, you’ll probably find yourself less tempted to use them to gnaw on your nails.
  2. Use a deterrent: Apply some bitter-tasting nail polish to your fingernails. The unpleasant taste will make you less likely to want to nibble on them.
  3. Consider an antidepressant:Talk to your doctor or dentist about taking a low-dose antidepressant to treat your anxiety. This may help you break the habit of chewing your nails away when you feel stressed or anxious.
  • Smoking

Smoking can negatively affect your oral health in a number of ways. Aside from the obvious risk of cancer, smokers have a higher risk of developing gum disease than people who don’t smoke. This is because smoking slows down the body’s ability to heal and rid the body of harmful bacteria. The impact of the habit is often most visible in those who smoke heavily and frequently. Smokers also tend to suffer from bad breath and yellowed teeth due to the staining effects of cigarettes.

It can be hard to quit the habit, but oral health experts recommend quitting smoking or using other forms of tobacco to improve the health of the teeth and gums. Mouthwashes and even certain toothpaste can help remove the stains caused by smoking once you’ve kicked the habit.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

It’s common for people to brush their teeth too hard or vigorously. The truth is, our teeth don’t grow back once they’re gone. That’s why it’s so important to take excellent care of them! When we brush too roughly, we can erode the enamel on our teeth, making them more sensitive and vulnerable to decay and discoloration. While it’s important to brush at least two times a day, it’s also important to brush your teeth in a gentle manner. You should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth in the morning and at night. If you have any questions about how to properly clean your teeth and gums, make sure to ask us during your next visit to the dentist’s office.

To learn more about ways to maintain good oral health, please reach out to the dental office located in San Mateo, CA 94401 at (650) 342-8618, and we’ll be happy to help.

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