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4 Habits That Dentists Wish Their Patients Would Break

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Many people have bad habits. Unfortunately, habits can also be hard to break. But there are habits you may have that your dentist wishes you could break because they can harm your dental health. Here are four habits you need to break to make your dentist smile at your next appointment:

1. Ice Chewing

Ice has sharp edges that can damage your gums. While this damage may not lead to serious issues, it can cause pain that can mimic toothaches. Also, chewing on ice can chip your teeth or even lead to breakage of an entire tooth.

How to stop:

If you're chewing on ice because your mouth is dry, have a glass or bottle of water on hand at all times. You can also chew gum or suck on sugar-free breath mints.

2. Brushing too hard

When it comes to brushing your teeth, there is such a thing as pressing too hard. When you brush too hard, the bristles scratch your gums and can even damage the enamel on your teeth. This can lead to gums receding and tooth sensitivity. It can even eventually lead to more serious problems like gingivitis and cavities, which dentists hate to see.

How to stop:

Make sure you use a soft or extra-soft tooth brush. While brushing, brush slowly and softly. Often, the reason we press too hard when brushing is because we're in a rush. Take your time and focus on taking it easy.

3. Soda Drinking

The acid and carbonation in sodas can wear away tooth enamel and make you more likely to get cavities. Even diet sodas can harm your dental health, since sugar is not the only ingredient in sodas that affects your teeth. As the acid sits on your teeth, your enamel softens. If your drink more soda, your enamel stays in this soft state.

How to stop:

Drink water instead of soda. If you don't like the taste of your tap water, use a water filter or buy bottled water.

4. Nighttime Snacks

Even if you brush your teeth every night, if you're snacking at night before bed, this can still be harmful to your teeth. During the day, your drinking water and saliva help wash away bacteria and harden your tooth enamel between brushes. But while you're sleeping, this isn't happening. This is why snacking after brushing at night can lead to cavities and gingivitis.

How to stop:

Eat more filling foods during the day, especially foods that are high in protein or fiber. This keeps you full at night and can help you cut down on snacking. Also, eat your last snack of the day about thirty minutes before the last time you brush your teeth. Drink plenty of water before bedtime.

These are habits that dentists would like their patients to break. If you kick these habits, your teeth and your dentist will be much happier.