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6 Habits that Wreck Your Smile

Dr. Dores Hard at Work at Dores Dental in East Longmeadow, MA

Your pearly whites are strong, resilient, and with proper care can last a lifetime. But they serve a few specific purposes and aren’t meant to be abused. If you mistreat your teeth with these bad habits, they may break, decay, or wear down. 

One good habit for your smile is to visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam. If you live in East Longmeadow, MA, call Dores Dental at 413-241-3995 or fill out our online form and we will get back to you. 

Chewing on Anything That’s Not Food

Perhaps your vice is ice — hey, it’s cool, refreshing, and calorie-free, right? Or perhaps you tend to nibble your pencil while in thought or chew your fingernails out of nervousness. Any of these things may end up breaking your teeth. Plus, when you put your mouth on an object, you are transferring bacteria back and forth. Yuck!

Using Tobacco

As if you need another reason to quit the cigarette habit, smoking is terrible for your oral health. Tar and nicotine leach into the pores of your teeth, turning them dark and yellowed over time. Smoking puts you at a very high risk of developing gum disease — and smokers’ disease tends to be resistant to treatment. Smoking contributes to halitosis (bad breath). And smoking and chewing tobacco increase the likelihood of developing an oral cancer.

Clenching and Grinding

Clenching and grinding your teeth is a habit that may stem from stress or anxiety. You may not even realize you do it, as it often happens while you’re asleep. But it is a dangerous habit that can wear down your teeth, injure your gums, and cause TMJ pain and other problems. At Dores Dental, we can craft a custom mouthguard that you wear at night. It prevents you from clenching your teeth and enables your jaw to heal.

Using Your Teeth as a Tool

We’ve all done it: used our chompers to open a bag of chips, rip off a clothing tag, or remove a bottle cap. But next time you’re tempted, get up to get the scissors or opener. The risk of the situation ending with a chip, crack, or even serious dental emergency is just too great. 

Snacking Throughout the Day

Try to keep your eating to mealtimes. If you get into the habit of snacking throughout the day, your teeth are subjected to a continuous barrage of bacterial acid attacks, leading to decay. If you do need a snack, choose something teeth friendly like an apple, nuts, or cheese stick.

Drinking Your Sugar

The best way to quench your thirst is with plain water. Sports drinks, sodas, and juices coat your teeth in liquid sugar, causing bacteria to proliferate and release damaging acids. Get into the habit of carrying around a reusable water bottle filled from the tap. 

Avoid these habits, practice good oral hygiene at home, and visit us at our East Longmeadow, MA, twice per year. Schedule an appointment by calling Dores Dental at 413-241-3995 or filling out our online form.

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