Harmful Dental Habits to Avoid

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dentist Amherst NYAre your everyday behaviors affecting your dental health? Do you neglect seeing the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings? Many patients are surprised to learn that certain behaviors negatively affect their oral health. Whether it is chewing on ice cubes or foregoing a routine cleaning, you could be putting your oral health at risk.

We strive to educate our patients on oral health so that they feel empowered to make wise decisions. Preserving your oral health begins with a daily commitment to protecting your teeth and gums along with receiving regular professional care. Preventing conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay can save you money and time in the future. Following are some common habits that you should avoid.

Chewing on Anything Other Than Food

Many people tend to bite down and chew on objects that aren’t food. Whether it is ice cubes or pen caps, this habit is actually quite destructive. Chewing on hard objects will eventually wear down tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the mineralized coating that surrounds teeth above the gums. This part of tooth structure helps prevent tooth decay by protecting the softer interior structures of teeth from cavity-causing oral bacteria. Although chewing on a pen may alleviate stress and anxiety temporarily, it will increase your risk for tooth breakage and caries.

Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth

Like chewing on inedible objects, clenching and grinding your teeth wears down tooth enamel by forming tiny cracks. Clenching and teeth grinding is a common side effect of anger, stress, and anxiety. This habit increases a patient’s risk for caries and tooth fracture. Grinding one’s teeth or clenching the jaw also stresses and strains the TMJ (the joint on each side of the face that connects the skull and lower jaw), which can lead to a painful condition that impairs oral function.

Skipping Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Our team understands that life gets hectic and sometimes keeping up with dental appointments is difficult. We strongly encourage you to visit our practice for routine cleanings and checkups with our dentist. Regular exams and cleanings help our team detect common conditions as early as possible so that we can treat them conservatively.

Contact Inspire Dental Group today to schedule a cleaning or checkup.