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Habits That Can Cause a Dental Emergency

June 4, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkern @ 5:20 pm
Man holding a cigarette

Everyone has habitual things they do throughout the day. Some are completely harmless while others can lead to issues in the future. When it comes to your smile, there are many bad habits that can eventually cause a full-blown dental emergency. Even though they can be difficult to break, doing so can save you a lot of time, money, and pain. Your emergency dentist shares some bad habits and how they can affect your smile.

Nail Biting

This is a common habit, especially for kids and teenagers. It exposes you to all the bacteria living underneath your fingernails, therefore increasing your likelihood of becoming ill. As for your teeth, it can cause chipping or cracking. To discontinue this habit, try applying a bitter nail polish, cutting your nails short, or investing in a manicure.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

Your teeth are meant to help you chew your food so you can stay nourished. Don’t use them for opening containers or ripping open packaging. Doing so leaves the vulnerable to damage like chipping, cracking, and breaking.

Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth

Usually, this habit is associated with stress or happens while you sleep. Constantly clenching your teeth can lead to cracking and lockjaw. Grinding wears down the enamel on the chewing surface of your teeth. This leads to increased sensitivity and a higher risk of tooth decay. If you have this problem, talk to your dentist about getting a custom-made mouthguard to protect against bruxism.

Chewing on Hard Objects

Constantly biting down on objects like pencils, pens, and ice increase your risk of chipping or cracking your teeth. It could also wear down your enamel and make you more vulnerable to tooth decay.

Drinking Alcoholic and Sugary Beverages

An occasional sugary or alcoholic beverage doesn’t do much harm, but if you’re making a habit of sipping on them, your teeth could suffer as a result. Soda and sports drinks contain sugar and acid which wears down enamel while also feeding bacteria, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Alcoholic beverages also contain acid and dry out the mouth, resulting in similar effects.

Using Tobacco Products

Using tobacco products has a negative effect on almost every part of your body, including your teeth. By smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, you can experience teeth yellowing, loss of jawbone density, gum disease, salivary gland inflammation, and oral cancer. Your whole body will benefit from dropping this harmful habit. 

Vigorous Brushing

Brushing twice daily is one of the best things you can do for your smile. However, if you brush too aggressively, you can actually harm the enamel of your teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in soft, circular motions. It should feel light against your teeth and not lead to any gum irritation.

Skipping Your Dental Appointments

Visiting your dentist regularly is important for a variety of reasons. In addition to having your teeth thoroughly cleaned, your dentist checks for abnormalities and early signs of developing issues like gum disease. By having your teeth checked now, you can avoid serious dental problems in the future.

Dental emergencies are never fun, so it’s important to prevent them before they happen. As difficult as it can be to break bad habits, the benefits of having a strong, healthy smile will be worth it in the end.

About the Author

Dr. Joe Kern is a family and emergency dentist located in Grafton, ND. He graduated from The Ohio State University and has been practicing dentistry for over two decades. Whenever possible, he offers same day treatment for his patients who are experiencing a dental emergency. You can also call the office for first-aid guidance over the phone. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (701) 352-2013.

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