Jan 22, 2020
Family Dentistry

6 Habits to Kick in the New Year for a Healthier Smile


he start of a new year and a new decade calls for a new opportunity to improve your life in a number of ways. Whether you’re looking to make a career change, lose weight, or become more patient, the goals we set for ourselves aren’t always easy and don’t always happen overnight. As a leading area dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics knows how important it is to take steps toward a happier, healthier you, which is why we’re here to help you kick some of the most harmful habits to your oral health. In addition the sharing the effects of the harmful habits, we’ll help you by providing tips for kicking these habits once and for all.

Bad Habit #1: Smoking

The Leading Dentist in Rosslyn Farms Encourages You to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

While this is perhaps one of the most common resolutions made, it comes as no surprise due to the numerous effects that smoking has on your mouth and body. From the perspective of a dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental warns patients to quit smoking not only because of teeth discoloration but because smoking increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Additionally, smoking harms your sense of smell and taste, making it more difficult to enjoy your favorite foods as time goes on.

The Solution: There are a number of methods for quitting smoking ranging from medications to hypnosis. Your dentist and doctor will have recommendations regarding which methods of quitting smoking may be right for you and your lifestyle. At the very least, starting the conversation about quitting with a healthcare provider is a great step in the right direction.

Bad Habit #2: Coffee

Loosening the Grip of Your Caffeine Addiction on Your Oral Health

No Coffee Oral Health

While everyone knows that coffee stains your teeth, many people don’t realize that coffee is extremely acidic (primarily because we neutralize it to some degree with milk or cream). This acidity, over time, can wear at your enamel and leave you susceptible to tooth damage, cavities, and increase sensitivity. Additionally, the high caffeine content can lead to clenching and grinding that can further damage your teeth. 

The Solution: Quitting or cutting back on coffee can help keep your teeth bright and white as well as ensure a strong smile. There are a number of ways to ease up on your coffee consumption, including increasing your water intake, finding worthy substitutes, and replacing your coffee routine with another routine -- like a hot morning shower.

Bad Habit #3: Nail Biting

The Leading Dentist in Rosslyn Farms Encourages You to Quit Biting Your Nails

Nail Biting is bad for oral health

Not only is biting your nails a rather disgusting habit due to the amount of dirt and bacteria on your nails, but it can be extremely harmful to your teeth.  Biting your nails regularly can lead to shifts in your teeth that require braces or a retainer. Additionally, biting nails can break your teeth or damage your enamel. This combines with bacteria in your mouth and nails for a recipe for disaster over time.

The Solution: Quitting your nails is often easier to do when you are less stressed out and more entertained, so taking up a relaxing hobby is a great way to decrease your desire to bite. Additionally, regular manicures or poor-tasting nail solutions can help reduce your biting habit.

Bad Habit #4: Opening Packages with Your Mouth

Using Your Teeth to Open Packages Can Lead to Serious Damage

Don't use your teeth has scissors

We’ve all been in a situation in which we need to open a package with our teeth. This borderline animalistic action is in our nature but can cause serious damage to our teeth and enamel. Whether this is something you do frequently or only on occasion, it’s important to take the steps to squash it in the new year.

The Solution: The good news is that there is a relatively simple solution for quitting this bad habit. Leading Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics recommends purchasing a few extra pairs of scissors to keep in the places where you frequently open packages with your mouth. Keep an extra pair in the living room drawer, your car, and the bathroom in order to knock this habit.

Bad Habit #5: Soda

Leading Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental Recommends Quitting Soda for Your Overall Health

quitting soda for oral health

There are a number of reasons to quit soda in 2020, but leading dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics suggests that your oral health is one of the most important reasons. Soda is extremely high in sugar that can lead to cavities and discoloration. This can cause diabetes as well, which presents its own set of oral health issues. Additionally, carbonation and sugar over time can wear at the enamel, causing sensitivity and an increased risk of tooth damage.

The Solution: Take the time to quit soda over time for best results. Begin by cutting down and drinking soda only through a straw. Over time, switch to seltzer water and then to plain water itself, saving soda only for special occasions.

Bad Habit #6: Grinding

Preserve a Healthy Smile by Taking Steps to Quit Grinding

teeth grinding bad for oral health

Grinding is an extremely common oral health habit that can lead to cracking of the teeth and damage to your enamel. This causes sensitivity and an increased risk of cavities and ongoing oral health issues. Some people may not even realize that they grind their teeth or clench their teeth, but a great dentist like Rosslyn Farms Dental can find signs of both with ease.

The Solution: Many times, grinding and clenching are driven by stress. Not only can taking steps to reduce stress help you kick this habit, but using a nighttime mouthguard can protect your teeth. Additionally, Botox may be a solution for long-term clenchers and grinders.

Think it’s time to kick your bad habits for the sake of your smile? Get in touch with the team at Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics today to get started.

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