Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Our oral health is affected by more than just how often we brush and floss. Our every day habits can also affect the health of our teeth and gums. As per the Dentist Montebello Los Angeles, CA, some of the harmful habits for oral health are as follows.

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit in childhood and adolescence. In fact, it is estimated that around half of all children bite their nails. While nail biting is typically harmless, it does have the potential to cause oral problems if done regularly or over a long period of time. This is because the mouth acts as a harbor for bacteria and fungi that can enter the body through the bloodstream when nails are bitten. Some symptoms of these infections include bad breath, red and swollen gums, soreness inside the mouth, and chipped teeth.

Using Teeth As Tools

Do you use your teeth to open packages or cut tape? Stop! Your teeth are not tools for that job. Using your teeth as tools can lead to cracked or broken teeth as well as tooth sensitivity.

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body. However, it is not indestructible, and with time, harsh habits can wear it down. To protect your enamel, limit your use of hard tools and objects in your mouth.

Chewing Ice Cubes

Yes, chewing on ice is a habit that can negatively affect your oral and general health. The ice can cause your teeth to crack or split. The act of chewing on ice can also cause jaw issues, including temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ. If left untreated, the TMJ can become chronic and painful.

As per the Dentist Montebello Los Angeles, CA, just as you shouldn’t chew on ice, you should also not chew on nuts and popcorn kernels. These foods can easily become stuck in between teeth which can lead to tooth decay. Avoid these types of snacks during events where food and drinks are being served in large quantities. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Frequent Snacking

Many people snack throughout the day and between meals without even thinking about it. But snacking isn’t inherently bad for you – nor is eating when you’re hungry! It’s how we choose what we eat that can make our teeth susceptible to decay and other damage.

The more frequently we snack, the more we rely on simple carbohydrates like candy, chips, or crackers to satisfy our hunger. These snacks are also loaded with sugars and starches that feed oral bacteria. This bacteria produces an acid that erodes tooth enamel and makes cavities possible. If acid attacks a tooth frequently enough, the enamel can break down completely, and a cavity can form. Cavities are painful and can be an expensive fix when you factor in anesthesia, fillings, and the time and money lost from a trip to the dentist’s office.

If you do snack during the day, your Dentist Montebello Los Angeles, CA recommends choosing healthy options like cheese sticks, yogurt, granola bars, fruit, or carrots.

Thumb Sucking

When thumb sucking is stopped before the age of four, the effect on teeth and mouth development is minimal. However, when it goes past that point, it can increase the risk of crooked teeth, buck teeth, or protruded front teeth. It can also affect the position of the jaws and the shape of the roof of the mouth. With prolonged sucking, it can even cause TMJ disorder. If your child has the habit of thumb sucking, schedule a consultation with the Dentist Montebello Los Angeles, CA. 

Teeth Grinding

Aside from causing jaw soreness, teeth grinding can also result in bigger problems down the road. Over time, the teeth can shift out of alignment and cause difficulty chewing and speaking properly. Your dentist may recommend a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw from further damage. These can be made in the dental office and take just two visits to get fitted.

For any dental services, get in touch with Dr. David Hakham, Dentist Montebello Los Angeles, CA, at 6451 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles 90022, or call (323)728-0241.


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