Proper dental care is critical to dental health. This includes brushing your teeth, flossing regularly, and seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. But is that all to a healthy mouth?

Our daily habits can also undermine the preventative dental care we practice. Here’s a list of seven of the worst dental habits, why they’re bad for dental health, and what you can do to stop them. For more information from the best dentist in Mission Hills, call on the team of Devonshire Dental Group. Our expert team is standing by to help you choose the service that fits your health the best.

Crunching, Sucking and Sipping

Hot summer days complete with ice-cold soda or ice tea are perfect for cooling off, but then we crunch on those leftover ice cubes, the brittleness and cold temperatures can cause fractures and microscopic cracks in the surface of the teeth. To minimize dental damage, consider crushed ice.

Other harmful habits that can lead to fractures in the teeth include sucking on the pits of fruits such as peaches, apricots and plums and then crunching on them.

Crunching and sucking aside, sipping sugary beverages throughout the day is another bad habit. Sugary drinks may be delicious and addictive, but it destroys your enamel with its acidity and sugar byproducts that heighten your risk of cavities. It softens the teeth’s protective enamel and stains your teeth with its caramel food coloring. Additionally, its high sugar content is incredibly damaging to your teeth. Sugars, when left on teeth, encourage the proliferation of harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Using Teeth to Open Items

Your teeth may be capable of opening a bag of chip, but they are not made for tools. Uncapping a bottle of water, pulling out a watch stem, straightening a bent fork tine or ripping a price tag off a piece of clothing is hard on your teeth and can cause trauma or weaken them to chip or fracture.

The next time you think about using your teeth as tools, reach for real tools such as scissors and pliers to do the work.

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth can be caused by a number of reasons such as stress and anxiety or an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. For structural reasons, your doctor may advise you to wear a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding. If caused by stress or anxiety, consider an exercise program or counseling.

Other habits to be aware of include clenching or grinding your teeth on anything else that isn’t food. If this is a habit, you can position the tip of your tongue between your teeth to train your jaw muscles to relax.

Choosing the Wrong Toothbrush

Some people have a misconception that firmer toothbrush equals cleaner teeth. This isn’t so, especially for older adults. As we age, the gums push back, and the roots of the teeth are exposed. A firm toothbrush may irritate the gums and further increase sensitivity. To choose the right toothbrush for you, ask your dentist what toothbrush might be best to maintain oral health.

Not Brushing, Flossing or Rinsing Your Teeth

Simple dental hygiene. You should aim to brush your teeth twice a day and replace your toothbrush every three or four months.

Flossing teeth should be done daily, and antiseptic rinses should be done once or twice a day. Flossing your teeth regularly removes residual buildup between the teeth. Rinsing your mouth removes bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath.

Drinking Coffee or Dark Tea Blends

Coffee’s natural brown color can turn your teeth a yellowish tone by revealing the dentin underneath your enamel. But, an unsweetened cup of coffee is not the most harmful drink in the world. The added sweeteners people often add and the acid level, however, increases one’s risk of cavities in the same way as soda. If you need that morning fix, try unsweetened, cold-brewed coffee for a healthier, lower acid alternative.

Using Toothpicks

While not all bad, toothpicks can help keep the areas between your teeth clean. If you do use it, be careful not to hurt your gum tissues. Aggressively use of toothpicks to clean between your teeth can damage your gums and it may damage your teeth.

Join the Best Dentist in Mission Hills

Join the best dentist in Mission Hills at Devonshire Dental Group for an expert consultation on our dental services. We will discuss and review your options to help you find the best treatment for oral health. Schedule a consultation with us today, and join our many satisfied patients!