New Year’s Dental Health Resolutions – Kicking Nasty Habits to the Curb

With New Years resolutions in full swing, beyond interest in just physical appearance, dental hygiene habits and our general oral health are always worth a timely review. Along losing weight and getting fit, how we look is becoming a top priority when making those New Year’s resolutions. Recognizing and changing those bad oral habits can be the first stage towards improving your dental health in the coming year and throughout your lifetime.

Prevention versus cure

There is little doubt among leading dental experts that as with most things in life, prevention is far more effective than cure. Rooting out bad habits that lead to poor oral hygiene and making a few lifestyle changes are likely to reap the best results over time. From nutrition and eating habits to regular hygiene, they will all impact on your long-term dental health. That aside, there are some personal habits that often prove to be detrimental to good dental health and we will discuss how to deal with them below.

Nail biting

Nail biting is probably one of the most common bad habits of poor dental health and it affects huge numbers of people. Due to the nature of how it is done, nail biting has the potential to chip your teeth and even cause impact damage to your jaw. It is widely recognized as a nervous habit and although it manifests as a physical action, nervous issues are at the heart of the problem. Dealing with the underlying nervous issues is therefore, likely to provide the most successful solution when it comes to kicking this damaging habit.

Grinding and clenching

Grinding and clenching will most certainly cause long-term damage to your teeth over time and many sufferers tend to do it unconsciously without realizing. Grinding and clenching is also something of a night-time habit that sufferers perform in their sleep. Because of this, it can be a particularly difficult habit to kick but the good news is that there are some preventative measures available via your dental practitioner. Gum shields similar to those used by partakers of impact sports can be worn over the teeth at night to protect them from the effects of this highly destructive oral habit.

Over-brushing and flossing

While a regular oral hygiene regime is essential for good dental health, it is much easier than many of us may realize to actually “overdo it”. Over-enthusiastic flossing is one of the quickest ways to cut into the soft gum tissue which in turn is likely to lead to soreness and bleeding. It can also expose such damaged areas to an increased risk of oral infections and even more serious damage when left untreated.

The same applies when we brush too hard or use a brush that is too coarse. The early warning signs are excessive bleeding and soreness after brushing and a softer brush along with reduced flossing could be the way to go in fixing this habit.

Dental abuse and poor nutrition

You can be assured that there is very little that most dental practitioners haven’t come across when it comes to patients misusing their teeth. From opening soda bottles and using the teeth like a pair of pinchers to holding pens, nails, and other everyday items with them, your teeth are often used for everything except the function they were designed for; eating your food. Talking of food, a diet of crunchy candies, hard nuts, and other jaw breaking foods is just one more way to fast track yourself to a few chipped or broken teeth.

If you need any help in kicking your poor dental habits and improving your overall dental health you should contact one of the expert dentists here at Signal Hill Dental Centre today.