We all think we know how to look after our teeth and our oral health in general, but there are some things that you could be doing without even realising it. If you are experiencing increased sensitivity, tooth decay, enamel wear or other issues, then this article could hold the answers as to why it is happening.

1. Chewing ice cubes & sipping cold drinks

Having ice in your drink can make the beverage far more enjoyable for many, especially during the summertime. It can be extremely refreshing, but with icy drinks comes ice cubes. No matter what, you must try and refrain from chewing on the ice cubes that end up in your mouth along with the liquid you are drinking. It can cause sensitivity issues, which means that you will less likely be able to enjoy an ice cream or hot drinks over the course of time. If you must have a cold drink, then drink them through a straw.

2. Using your teeth as a tool

One of the worst things you can do is use your teeth as a way of opening or ripping things. It might seem like a convenient solution, but it is really very damaging to your teeth. It also poses the threat of chipping, cracking or even misplacement. All it takes is for you to use a tooth that is weaker than the rest and the damage will be done.

Some of the things people use their teeth for includes the following: tearing open bags, ripping price tags off clothing items, pulling out a watch stem, straightening utensils and uncapping bottles. Don’t use your teeth for any of those things, instead, safely use scissors and other utensils to do the job for you.

3. Grinding your teeth & being aware of it

You might be aware that you are grinding your teeth or, then again, you might not. If you are not aware of it, then it is possible you are either doing it subconsciously or in your sleep. Your dentist will be able to tell that you are grinding your teeth and will then be able to give you some advice about how to go about stopping.

Although, if you are aware that you are grinding or clenching your teeth, then it is important you take the necessary steps to stop entirely. Something you could try is: doing some relaxation exercises, using mouth guards while you sleep and being aware of when the clenching or grinding starts.

4. Not brushing your teeth for long enough

You need to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes every time. If you are not sure whether  you are brushing for long enough, then set a timer. This should be easily done with today’s technology. Use your smartphone or your Alexa, for example. Most simply, however, you could use a watch or a clock to keep the time also. Not brushing your teeth for long enough can cause a build up of plaque and, subsequently, tooth decay. Avoid fillings and other dental procedures by looking after your teeth at home – brushing them twice a day for two minutes every time is a good start.

5. Biting your nails

This comes close to using your teeth as a tool to do everything. Just as you shouldn’t use your teeth to remove clothing tags, you should not use them to trim your nails; that’s what nail clippers are for. Not only is this bad for the integrity of your nails, but it is also incredibly bad for your teeth. It could cause them to crack, chip or even move out of place completely.

Moreover, your jaw can become negatively-affected also by way of jaw dysfunction. This is because the jaw is often locked in an odd position for long periods of time or repeatedly when nail-biting commences. However, nail-biting is considered to be a chronic issue and so over-the-counter remedies can be bought to help you stop, such as bad-tasting nail polish.

6. Brushing your teeth too hard

Where you might think that brushing your teeth with some force is a good thing, it is actually quite the opposite. Brushing your teeth too hard causes things like excessive enamel wear, receding gums and increased sensitivity. However, you must not think that brushing twice daily causes the same problems, because it does not.

Just don’t press down too hard on the toothbrush head, particularly when paying attention to the tongue and gums. Something you can do to mitigate the effects of hard brushing is to buy a toothbrush with softer bristles. Although, you could always invest in an electric one because a lot of them will flash red if you are pressing too hard.

7. Smoking

It is a well known fact that smoking is bad for your health in general, but it also has a negative impact on your oral health, specifically. Some of the most side effects of smoking include: extreme staining of the teeth, bad breath, tooth decay, dry mouth, gum disease and, in the most serious cases, mouth cancer.

People who smoke are also likely to produce far more plaque on their teeth, which can be damaging. If gum disease arises, it could be extremely difficult to heal as the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream can hinder the healing process all round, whether it be your gums or a cut on your hand.

8. Not visiting the dentist on a regular basis

It is highly-recommended that you visit your dentist once every six months. It is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene and ensuring that there aren’t any more serious issues at hand. Not going to the dentist regularly is one of the worst dental habits you can have. But it is understandable as to why patients are reluctant to pay their dentist a visit.

If you are a nervous patient, then the team at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic are highly-trained and have an incredibly high level of due diligence, meaning you can rest assured that you will be in good, caring hands with the dentists at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic. Don’t neglect your teeth by not going to the dentist, because when a problem arises, it might be far more serious than it might have been otherwise.

Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic are pleased to provide patients throughout Loughborough and the surrounding areas with specialist dental treatments, including endodontics, orthodontics and cosmetic dental treatments. We are also able to carry out routine appointments. For more information about how the dentists at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic can help you today, get in touch with a member of our professional, expert team –  we are always happy to hear from you.