Recently we reviewed some basic tips for maintaining your good oral hygiene. This week, Riverside Dental Group is going to point out that what you don’t do is just as important as what you do to maintain a clean and healthy mouth and strong teeth. We develop habits in all areas of our lives as part of our daily routine. Below is a list of common bad habits that are destructive to your oral health and tips to help avoid, or abandon, these habits if you suffer from them.

  • Smoking—The destruction that tobacco brings upon your dental health is no secret. Aside from lung diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer, the harmful chemicals in tobacco can also lead to gum disease and oral cancer. These chemicals can irritate the gums—causing them to recede from the teeth and expose the roots—and interfere with gum tissue cells, making smokers more vulnerable to periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Crunching—It seems natural to chew on the ice cubes left over after you finish a refreshing soda or iced tea, but the rigidity and bitter cold temperatures of ice can damage the structure of your teeth. The pressure can fracture your teeth or cause cracks to form in the enamel, which is the protective layer of your teeth, and lead to more serious dental problems down the road. Popcorn kernels, hard candy, pens and pencils, and the pits of fruits such as peaches, plums, and mangos, are also among the things that you should avoid crunching between your teeth.
  • Improvising—Opening bags, pulling loose strings off of clothing, and twisting the caps off of small bottles all seem easier with the use of your teeth. However, these types of activities can traumatize your teeth or cause a weakened tooth edge to fracture or break. Be mindful of using your mouth as a general tool and keep actual tools like scissors and pliers accessible to handle those situations.

Riverside Dental Group reminds you that exceptional oral hygiene is a mix of proper maintenance and eliminating bad habits. If you would like further information on avoiding destructive oral habits, or would like to schedule an appointment, contact the Riverside Dental Group office nearest you. We serve patients throughout the Riverside area, including Corona, Temecula, and Moreno Valley.