5 habits that could be affecting your oral health
Even if you follow good oral hygiene habits, there may be lifestyle factors that are affecting your teeth and gums.
Find out if any of your habits could be detrimental to your oral health …
- You eat too much sugar
It’s no secret that sugar is an unhealthy choice when it comes to overall wellness — too many sweet treats can lead to weight gain, put you at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, and increase your chances of acne. When it comes to your oral health, sugar is the number one culprit for tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth convert the sugars that we eat into acid, which can damage the enamel on our teeth and lead to cavities. Unfortunately, sugar is an added ingredient in many processed foods so you may be eating more of it than you know. Major sources of sugar, however, are soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices, lollies, and sweet desserts, so enjoy these in moderation. Also, try and remember to rinse your mouth after you enjoy something sweet, and brush your teeth after meals.
- You smoke
Smoking is a habit that can put your overall health at great risk, and your oral health is no different. Cigarettes can cause your teeth to discolour and stain over time, while the habit also increases your risk of developing gum disease as bacteria tends to build up in the mouth. Smoking has also been linked to an increased risk of developing oral cancers.
- You bite your nails
If you bite your nails, you could be doing damage to your teeth. The habit can cause your teeth to chip, and can also have an impact on your jaw over time. If you find yourself nibbling your nails when you are stressed, try and figure out the source of your anxiety so that you find a way to deal with it.
- You brush your teeth too hard
It’s important to keep your teeth clean by brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, but if you tend to brush too vigorously, you could be damaging your teeth and gums. It’s best to use a toothbrush with soft bristles, and brush gently, but thoroughly. Chat to your dentist about the proper brushing technique if you feel you could improve your oral health routine.
- You drink too much alcohol
While enjoying alcohol in moderation is absolutely fine for most people, too much of it can have a negative impact on your teeth and gums, as well as the soft tissues in your mouth. Research shows that the risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay and mouth sores is much higher in heavy drinkers, while people with alcohol use disorder generally have higher plaque levels. Even if you don’t overdo it, drinking certain beverages can cause teeth to stain. Red wine and liquor mixed with dark coloured soft drinks can cause discolouration, while beer and wine tend to be acidic, which can cause damage to the enamel of the teeth.
If you need any advice regarding your oral health, please don’t hesitate to come in and see us. Our aim is to provide you and your family with the highest quality professional and personal dental care available.
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