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Dingy Smile? Beware of These 5 Damaging Dental Hygiene Habits
Friday, 26 February 2021

Is your grin a little green? Is your halitosis nearly insufferable? Chances are, your smile is suffering the consequences of your less-than-satisfactory dental hygiene habits. With years of daily practice, you might consider brushing your teeth to be an act of muscle memory. However, you may be under the delusion that you’re a star brusher, when in fact, you’re failing to meet your dentist’s expectations.

Do you brush in back-and-forth motions? If so, it’s worth noting brushing in tiny circles over every side of the tooth will guarantee raving reviews from your dental hygienist during your twice-yearly cleanings. For those brushers hoping to avoid the deadly sins of dental hygiene, routine tongue brushing is non-negotiable. Note that brushing should take about 2-3 minutes to be certain you are being thorough. Finally, to echo the plea of dentists everywhere: don’t forget to floss.

Good dental health is imperative to a happy, healthy life. Having missing or crooked teeth is a one-way ticket to speech impediments. Not to mention, cavities are often painful and can interfere with daily life, causing discomfort when you ingest hot or cold foods. While a root canal or cavity filling can put an end to dental disasters, these procedures can take a devastating toll on your wallet. That said, preventative care is key in the context of dental hygiene.
 
Besides having a bright white smile, good dental health is important for your overall wellness. Canyon Crest Dental, a dental office in Lehi, reports that these seemingly unassuming small-tarnishing habits can have a long-lasting impact on your overall dental health.
 
Despite popular misconceptions, questionable dental hygiene has far-reaching (and equally unexpected) consequences. For example, the bacteria in your mouth can wreak havoc on other bodily systems. Should your mouth’s bacteria wander into lungs or bloodstream, it could lead to endocarditis and pneumonia. Luckily, with a dedication to good oral hygiene, you can sidestep these health curveballs.
 
If you’re dealing with a long list of tooth-cracking habits to kick, you’ll need to prioritize accordingly. For those brushers with a less-than-sparkling smile, implement a zero-tolerance policy for the dental hygiene slip-ups below.
 

Using your teeth for things other than chewing

 
Do you gnaw on plastic packaging to get it open? Pop off bottle-tops with your teeth? Rip the tags from your clothes by biting them off? By utilizing your teeth for what they were never meant to do, you risk weakening your enamel, which is your tooth’s first defense against decay. Even worse, you could potentially chip a tooth.
 

Sugary soft drinks

 
Everyone loves a nice refreshing soda now and then, but ensure you sip soft drinks sparingly. Too much sugar and acidity from pop can cause permanent damage, such as staining and sensitivity.
 

Gnawing on nails

 
Besides being an unattractive habit, nail-biting can also inflict jaw damage. Unbeknownst to most brushers, this nervous tick can put your jaw in an unnatural, distended position, which over time, can cause jaw pain.
 

Constant chewing

 
If you find yourself cracking ice cubes, chewing pen caps, or otherwise chomping on things you shouldn’t, you risk breaking or chipping your enamel. Better to chew some gum, or better yet, break the habit entirely.
 

Scrubbing your teeth too hard

 
Surprisingly, brushing your teeth with unnecessarily stiff bristles or scrubbing too vigorously can also damage your teeth. Without a gentle approach, irritation and enamel deterioration are bound to ensue. That said, be sure to pull back the reins, apply gentle pressure, and opt for soft bristles.
 

Keep smiling

 
The importance of dental hygiene cannot be overstated. With your oral health one gnawed pen cap away from irreparable damage, being conscientious of your dental hygiene habits is a must.
 
 
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