Keeping your mouth healthy requires more than flossing, brushing and eating nutrient dense foods. While those habits are the foundation and essential to maintaining your oral health, other habits we may have picked up through out the years could be causing damage without you even realizing it. Do you have any harmful habits that could be dimming your smile? Hopefully not, but most likely you unknowing have at least one. Don't worry,we are going to give you a few simple tips to help you break these habits with little effort.
1. Using your teeth as tools
Your teeth were made for eating, and that's a big job! They do not like moonlighting as a pair of scissors or bottle opener when you don't feel like searching for one (they are tired from all the chewing). Using your teeth in ways they were not designed puts you at a higher risk of fracturing or chipping teeth, injuring your jaw or accidentally swallowing something you shouldn't have; which could cause many other issues in different areas of your body.
Solution: Forks, knifes, and, towels are all items readily available in most places that can also open that tricky packaging or bottle cap when there is no bottle opener in sight.
2. Nail Biting
This often mindless habit can fracture or chip your teeth and hurt your jaw. Putting your jaw in a protruding position while placing pressure on it can cause your jaw muscles to become tight, making it painful to move your jaw to chew or even speak.
Solution: Bitter tasting nail coverings can work for those who chew nails as a mindless or stress relieving habit. If you chew your nails out of boredom then a stick of sugar free gum could be a good substitute for that long meeting you need to sit through. If these do not help then ask a trusted friend or family member to help you break the habit by having them tell to stop biting your nails every time they see you doing so.
3. Brushing your teeth too hard
Brushing twice a day is one of the best habits you make. Some of us mistakenly think that if you brush with more force or harder then you will clean your teeth better and faster, which is a myth. In fact, brushing too hard, or with a stiff bristled brush can cause damage to your teeth and gums. If your gums are normally not red before brushing and you notice they are after, that could be a sign that you are brushing to hard.
Solution: Use a soft toothbrush and a light touch or pressure. When brushing try brushing in a circular motion instead of back an forth; and don't death grip your toothbrush handle, hold it with the pads of your fingers. Lastly, a good electric tooth brush will take all the guess work out of the pressure and motion, because it does it for you, with a bonus of timing you so you always brush for the recommended two minutes.