Overcoming bad habits can be hard, but when kicking the habit for good improves your overall health it is worth it.  Periodontist, Dr. Leigh Kent, wants to give you some easy tips to conquer some common ‘bad’ oral health habits to stop putting your oral health at risk.

1. Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Teeth grinding is a habit you might not even be aware of, but we can help. Grinding your teeth can break your teeth and cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. Start practicing jaw relaxation exercises to ease the tension and ask us about a mouth guard at your next appointment.

2. Aggressive Brushing

Brushing your teeth aggressively does not get them any cleaner and damages your gums, tooth enamel, and root surfaces. Use a small-headed brush with soft bristles and massaging strokes to keep your teeth and gums happy.

3. Slow Snacking

Grazing throughout the day or slowly sipping on juices and sodas keeps an acid wash on your teeth all day. The acid is what causes cavities. Sip through a straw and when you indulge in a sugary treat,swish your mouth with water.

4. Stop Biting Your Nails

Biting your nails leads to chipping your teeth and putting undue stress on your jaw muscles. Try bitter-tasting polishes, keep fidgety hands busy, and practice stress reduction techniques.

5. Ice Chewing

The extreme cold increases the chances of breaking a tooth. Small cracks can form to weaken your tooth over time. Try drinking a cold beverage without ice, or at the very least, choose crushed ice when possible.

6. Teeth are meant for Chewing

Our teeth are great for cutting and chewing food, not for cutting string or ripping bags open. When we use our teeth as tools we put them at risk for breaking. Keep scissors handy.

To learn more about how you can improve your oral health in Birmingham, AL and to schedule an appointment, contact our office to come and see Dr. Kent today!