dentist TustinMany people take their oral health for granted. Some patients do not realize how important their teeth and gums are until they experience dental conditions that affect their daily lives. Unfortunately, many common habits can harm our oral health by weakening our teeth and irritating our gums. Following are some common bad habits that our dentist encourages patients to avoid.

Chewing/Biting on Items Other than Food

Do you chew on ice cubes or pens? Perhaps you bite your fingernails. Biting and chewing on anything that isn’t food can wear cracks in your tooth enamel, which in time, will permanently damage your teeth and leave them vulnerable to fracture or decay. On top of wearing down the protective coating around our teeth, chewing on items like pen caps or even biting one’s fingernails can transfer harmful bacteria into the mouth.

Clenching and Grinding Teeth

Grinding and clenching one’s teeth is a common habit that should be avoided. Also called “bruxism”, the act of clenching the mouth and grinding one’s teeth typically accompanies times of anxiety and stress. Many times, patients do not realize they are engaging in this behavior until a dental professional detects signs of bruxism in the form of tooth wear. This habit wears down teeth and stresses the TMJ, a joint responsible for mouth movement. Not only can this bad habit affect the health of teeth, it can affect quality of life by causing TMJ dysfunction, a painful disorder that affects oral function.

Foregoing Dental Checkups and Treatments

It is not uncommon for a patient to skip a dental cleaning or examination. Sometimes our lives get so hectic that it seems easy to push routine checkups aside for a later date. However, skipping a visit to the dentist can end up being a costly mistake. Regular checkups and cleanings are the perfect time for our team to look for signs of potential problems as early as possible. The sooner we detect an oral health issue, the more conservatively we can treat it. This means that patients enjoy less costly dental treatments in the future.

To schedule an appointment with our skilled and dedicated team, contact our office at 714-543-1170 today.