Posted in Gum disease, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

6 Common Dental Habits

cta - appointment2Is it cliché to have a New Year’s Resolution? Probably, but there are a few habits you’d like to kick to the curb! It’s common for people to want to start living a healthy lifestyle. Why not be completely healthy and improve your dental health too? Poor oral health can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth

Nail biting can chip or crack teeth. It can even fracture the enamel on your teeth from chewing on hard surfaces. Also, it has an impact on your jaw and as a result, you can develop TMJ. Even though we wash our hands, it’s hard to keep them clean. Nail biting may also lead to gingivitis: there is a lot of dirt under our fingernails we aren’t aware of!

Are you grossed out yet? Need tips to stop the biting? Cut them short! If you prefer the longer nail look, paint it with bitter-tasting nail polish. If you don’t like color, you can always opt for a clear coat! Because nail biting is often stress-induced, get a tiny stress ball or something to fidget with to keep your hands busy.

Chewing on ice can break your tooth or filling. While your teeth are far stronger than ice, there are instances where ice can break your teeth. If your enamel is weakened by decay or injury (that you may not be aware of), you are even more likely to fracture teeth. Slow down the chewing, and try drinks without ice so you won’t be tempted. If you insist on ice, drink with a straw and a lid to keep the ice out of sight.

Teeth as tools may seem convenient at the time but are not good for your teeth. They aren’t supposed to open bags, rip tags off, hold things, or open bottles. They are strong, but using them as tools can result in cracks and fracture or even worse, oral and facial injuries. Biting or chewing metal can cause serious damage. We already have real tools made especially for different tasks, so you don’t have to use your teeth. Teeth are not bottle openers, scissors, or bags – teeth are for chewing and smiling!

soft bristlesHard brushing can cause damage to your gums. Soft bristles are the best for your gums. This can be tricky because it’s good to brush twice a day, but how do you know if you are brushing too hard?  One sign is a frayed or flattened toothbrush.  You should not need any more pressure than you can provide with two fingers.  If you also begin to notice your gums receding, soften up on the brushing, and get an evaluation! Don’t scrub or do circular movements with the bristles against your gums! Think about brushing as a gentle massage, and look at the brushing instruction video on my website!

Smoking and use of other tobacco products increase your risk of oral cancer, and turn your teeth yellow or brown. You are also at much greater risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bone damage, and tooth loss. Over time, smoking will make your gums weaker, and cause great destruction to your jaw bone.  Smoking is toxic and destroys your circulation and immune system.  Don’t start, but if you are already hooked, get help, and quit today!

Not visiting your dentist is a no-brainer! It’s important to see your dentist at least every 6 months to avoid issues. Regular dental hygiene visits prevent tartar from eroding your teeth and helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Besides having all bacteria removed from your teeth professionally, you should get regular dental examination for other abnormalities that could be a larger health issue.

Repeat this to yourself: New Year, New Me! Cross things off your list, spice up your oral routine, go crazy at the gym, and eat healthy trendy foods. And most importantly, share how important a solid oral health routine is. Smile at all camera opportunities, and show the benefits of a healthy smile.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

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Author:

Dr. Rod M. Rogge is a graduate of the Ohio State University College of Dentistry, with wide-ranging knowledge and experience in General Dentistry and Periodontics. After 13 years as a general dentist, he completed his periodontal training at the renowned Naval Dental Post-Graduate School at Bethesda, Maryland and is board cerified by the American Academy of Periodontology. Professional Affiliations: - Member of the Tidewater Dental Association - Member of the Virginia Dental Association - Adjunct faculty for the Old Dominion University Registered Dental Hygiene program

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