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Top 5 Bad Dental Habits to Break

Do you practice good dental hygiene? Are you properly brushing twice a day and flossing daily? If so, good for you! But be careful that bad dental habits don’t undermine all your good efforts. Dental professionals advise that if you are engaging in any of the following bad dental habits, you are putting your teeth at risk.

hand holding can pouring soda | Kenneth J. Wolnik, DDS

Chewing on ice

Chewing ice is one of the biggest causes of cracked and chipped teeth. The hardness and cold temperature of ice cubes (frozen candy bars, too) can cause teeth to fracture, or can create microscopic cracks that could lead to bigger problems over time. Crunching on hard candy can have the same effect.

Using your teeth as a tool

Some people will use their teeth to sever twine, straighten a bent tine on a fork, or even open a bottle of beer! If you’re one of those people, stop doing that. You could traumatize your teeth or cause the edge of a weakened tooth to chip off or even fracture. Using your teeth as a tool is a bad dental habit that threatens your future dental health and can damage existing dental work.

Grinding your teeth

Grinding your teeth (bruxism) can cause microfractures, or wear teeth down over time. It can also damage dental work. Wearing a mouth guard can help prevent the damage. If this is a bad dental habit of yours, you should discuss it with your dentist.

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush

A brush that is too hard can irritate the gums and lead to sensitive teeth. When buying a brush, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal, or check with your dentist or hygienist on what is the right brush for you. On a related note, you should replace your brush every three to four months, or when the bristles begin to fray.

Drinking too much soda

The high levels of sugar in these beverages can significantly contribute to tooth decay. Even if you’re drinking diet soda, the acidity of the soda corrodes your enamel and can cause decay around your gum line and loss of enamel. If you drink soda, do so in moderation.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

We could add a sixth bad dental habit to this list: putting off dental visits. If it’s been more than six months since your last visit, schedule an appointment with Dr. Wolnik. Give us a call at (440) 888-5055 or send us an email at to set up your appointment today.

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