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    • 03 JAN 17
    • 0

    Bad Oral Health Habits to Break in the New Year

    If you have crooked teeth or a bite problem, braces may help. Straight teeth can boost your confidence and improve your oral health. However, certain habits have the opposite effect, damaging your teeth even as you try to straighten them with braces. Drop these habits now, whether you wear braces or not, to strengthen your teeth and improve your smile in the new year.

    Biting Nails/Pens/Ice

    bad-oral-health-habits-to-break-in-the-new-yearYou should never chew on anything but food. After all, your teeth are designed to crush through things, not butt up against solid, non-food items.

    Biting your nails doesn’t just harm the appearance of your hands – it can also cause oral hygiene issues. Bacteria from under your nails can enter your mouth and make you sick. Chronic nail biting can also splinter tooth enamel or cause your teeth to shift out of place.

    You might also have the bad habit of holding a pen, pencil, or another foreign object between your teeth while concentrating on a difficult task. This can cause your teeth to shift or even crack existing dental work in your mouth.

    Even chewing on ice, which seems harmless enough, can cause serious damage to your teeth. Remember, even your blender requires special blades to crush ice.

    Smoking

    You know smoking is bad for your overall health. You might even know it’s harmful to your teeth and gums. For starters, smoking causes bad breath. In addition to this temporary problem, smoking causes several other more permanent issues, such as:

    • Stained teeth
    • Gum disease and tooth loss
    • Oral cancer
    • Slow healing after a tooth extraction
    • Dulled sense of taste and smell

    A smoke-free way of life is healthier for you and those around you. Make a plan to quit and stick to it! Write down your reasons for quitting and tell close friends and family members about your plan so they can support you. There’s no better time than the new year to stop smoking!

    Wearing Mouth Jewelry

    Tongue and lip piercings may look cool, but they’re bad for your oral health. If you have an oral piercing, consider removing the jewelry and letting the hole close. Otherwise, you could face the following problems:

    • You could crack a tooth if you bite down too hard on your tongue ring.
    • You could choke if part of the jewelry breaks off in your mouth.
    • Repeated clicking of your lip or tongue ring on your teeth could cause damage over time.
    • With millions of bacteria living in your mouth, infections and swelling are likely.
    • An infected tongue piercing could lead to more severe systemic infections, such as endocarditis or hepatitis.
    • Intense swelling could close off your airway and make it difficult to breathe.

    Taking Illegal Drugs

    One of the most damaging drugs for oral health is methamphetamine. This highly addictive drug causes many frightening side effects, including rampant tooth decay. Meth users have described their teeth as “blackened, stained, rotting, crumbling, and falling apart.” If you want to prevent losing your teeth, set a resolution to get help with your illegal drug addiction in the new year.

    Dealing with Eating Disorders

    More than 10 million Americans suffer from anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. These disorders can wreak havoc on your physical well-being, including your oral health. Without the proper nutrients from a balanced diet:

    • Your gums and other soft tissues in your mouth bleed more easily.
    • Your salivary glands may swell and cause chronic dry mouth, which increases your risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and oral infections.
    • Vomiting exposes your teeth to strong stomach acid, which can cause your teeth to stain, weaken, and crack.

    Treat Your Teeth to a Visit with Dr. Evanson

    If you’re concerned about how your bad oral health habits are affecting your teeth and gums, stop by Evanson DDS in Parker for an exam and cleaning. We can assess the damage and recommend any cosmetic dental treatments you need to restore your smile.

    To discuss your concerns and schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (720) 409-0008 today.

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