3 Bad Dental Habits You Need to Change Today

Cells in your bones and tissues renew on a regular basis. Though it was once thought that brain cells do not regenerate, it was discovered they do, just at a slower rate. However, you have one set of teeth to last you a lifetime. It is imperative to take care of them. Yes, implants, partials and dentures can replace missing teeth, but ask anyone who has them if they would prefer the dental appliances or their real teeth. Bad dental habits lead to tooth loss. Everyone knows what happens if they do not brush their teeth, but here are three more bad dental habits that need correcting today.

Teeth Are Not Pliers

Using your teeth as pliers or even in lieu of scissors is not a good idea. Chipping and stress fractures may not become immediately apparent and will worsen over time. Small chips broken from teeth may not be noticed. Microscopic stress fractures are also not readily apparent. The damage can lead to dental caries (cavities) and broken teeth. Take an extra moment to find and use an appropriate tool to open a bottle or package. Biting fingernails and chewing ice is also not a good idea.

Sports and Horseplay

The National Institutes of Health offers a report about the prevalence of dental trauma indicating that of 6000 patients of a hospital oral surgery department that were studied, 57.8 percent of the injuries happened while playing or because of an accident in the home. Of those studied it turns out that 50.1 percent were injured in sports-related accidents. The report stressed that prevention is the key to minimizing the number of these types of injuries. Wisdom would apply in horseplay, but the standard practice of wearing a mouth guard for all sports where flying objects or physical contact occurs should be practiced 100 percent of the time by all participants.

Lack of Flossing

You probably have had it drilled into you, pun intended, about the necessity of brushing your teeth since you were a toddler. Maybe you got into the habit with a cartoon character toothbrush and bubble gum or grape flavored toothpaste as a youngster. The one thing that is missing for a suspected 80 percent or more is the lack of flossing. Brushing does not get in between teeth. Bacteria in your mouth forms plaques that harden into calculus (tartar)in about 24 hours. This is what leads to all that scraping when you have your teeth cleaned. Flossing daily gets the plaque out from in between teeth to help prevent gum disease, bad breath and caries.

Modern dentistry can help even those at a genetic disadvantage to keep their teeth strong and looking great for a lifetime. However, all of the work cannot be done by your dentist. You have to take care of your teeth on a daily basis as well. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes twice daily with an American Dental Association approved toothbrush and toothpaste. If flossing is uncomfortable, try switching from string to ribbon floss. And, the next time a bag of potato chips gives you a hard time trying to opening it, grab a pair of scissors instead of using your teeth.