Three Habits That Can Wreak Havoc on Your Teeth

August 20, 2012

Taking care of your teeth is not a difficult process, but it is important. If you are one of our patients or readers, than you know that for optimal oral health, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. Visiting your dentist’s office at least once every six months is also necessary to continued good oral health. However, the things you do on a day-to-day basis may be undermining all the careful attention you pay your teeth. Lake Orion dentist, Dr. Brad Greenfield, outlines three of the most destructive habits to your dental health.

Habit #1: Exposure

Although our teeth are coated by the second-strongest material on earth (only diamonds are stronger than enamel), they are susceptible to outside forces and can deteriorate or even break. What you expose your teeth to can be one of the worst dental habits. For instance, some people feel perfectly natural chomping down on the last few cubes of ice after a cold drink. The rigidity and extreme cold temperatures of ice cubes can cause your teeth to fracture, or can crack the surface of tooth enamel and lead to greater dental problems later. Popcorn kernels are as bad as ice, perhaps worse because their hard husks do not dissolve. If a piece of kernel sticks between your teeth and gums, it will remain until it is removed. If left long enough, the kernel can irritate the gums, causing them to recede and possibly leading to gum disease.

Habit #2: Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth, a habit known as bruxism, may seem harmless to some, but the excessive wear and tear on your teeth can quickly deteriorate your enamel. As your teeth rub each other’s enamel away, bacteria can settle into their interior, causing tooth decay. The undue pressure on your jaws can also lead to TMJ disorder, which is a condition marked by extreme discomfort in the jaw, head, neck, and face areas. If you suffer from bruxism, Dr. Greenfield may recommend a nighttime mouthguard to prevent the destruction of teeth grinding.

Habit #3: Poor Oral Hygiene

Perhaps the most common bad dental habit, and the one most responsible for issues like tooth decay and gum disease, is poor oral hygiene. Surprisingly, many people are still unsure how often they should brush their teeth. Dr. Greenfield, as well as the American Dental Association (ADA), recommends brushing and flossing at least twice a day and visiting the dentist office for a checkup at least twice a year. To schedule an appointment with your Lake Orion family dentist, call our Lake Orion, Michigan, office at (248) 693-6213. We welcome patients from Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, and the surrounding communities.

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