The state of your teeth and gums can correlate to your self-confidence, especially in public areas. For instance, a person with discoloured, crooked or missing teeth may not be able to smile comfortably in public. The same applies if you have halitosis, a condition characterised by a foul-smelling mouth.
Most of these embarrassing complications result from poor oral habits. Some, like smoking and eating sugary foods, are obvious. Others, such as clenching teeth and sucking thumbs, can inadvertently hurt your oral health.
Here are some of the behaviours to ditch in 2022 for better oral health.
Smoking is a widespread habit, as a substantial percentage of the Australian adult population smoke multiple cigarettes daily. Regardless, it has several harmful effects.
First, the tar in cigarettes can cause discolouration of teeth. Second, continuous smoking is one of the factors behind bad breath, especially if you don’t brush your teeth properly.
Extensive smoking leads to more severe complications. These include a loss in jawbone density, a condition that makes you susceptible to tooth loss. It also causes the inflammation of salivary glands and gum disease. In worst-case scenarios, it increases the risk of mouth cancer.
Quitting is the best solution to the complications caused by smoking, however, it’s not an easy task. If you’re an addict, seek help from your doctor, family and friends.
Clenching and Grinding
Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth hurts your oral health. These habits usually occur when you’re stressed, angry or sleeping.
Grinding your teeth, also called bruxism, erodes your enamel and increases the risk of tooth decay. On the other hand, clenching stresses your jawbone. This may weaken your teeth and make you vulnerable to tooth loss.
Some of the available solutions to these habits include performing stress-relieving exercises, attending counselling sessions and wearing a mouthguard before going to bed.
Brushing Using the Wrong Techniques and Equipment
Dentists recommend brushing at least twice daily to maintain good oral health. They don’t tell you that you need to use the right toothbrush and which brushing techniques to use.
Some people mistakenly believe that a toothbrush must have stiff bristles to clean your teeth effectively. In reality, this can hurt your teeth, especially if you’re older, as when you age, the gums can recede and therefore expose the roots of your teeth. When the stiff bristles brush against your teeth, you’re likely to experience pain.
Additionally, applying too much force when brushing irritates your gums and can erode the enamel. This mainly occurs when you use old toothbrushes whose bristles are worn out. For this reason, it’s advisable to replace your toothbrush every three months. Also, ask your dentist to suggest the best toothbrush brand.
Using Teeth as Tools
Has someone ever given you a soda or a beer, only to discover that you don’t have an opener nearby? If so, chances are you opened the bottle using your teeth, which isn’t good for your oral health.
Please avoid using your teeth as tools, as it causes cracking and chipping. In some instances, you can hurt your gums and cause bleeding. Instead, use proper tools such as openers, nail cutters, etc.
Taking care of your oral health has to be one of your priorities, as it contributes to overall physical and mental well-being. Besides oral hygiene practices and regularly visiting the dentist, you need to avoid the harmful habits mentioned in this post.
For instance, you need to quit smoking and limit your intake of sugary foods. If you find it challenging, adopt mitigating measures such as drinking a lot of water and consuming smokeless tobacco. Also, wear a mouth guard if you suffer from bruxism.