Habits are hard to break, but it can be done. If not stopped in a timely manner, bad oral habits can threaten both the appearance and health of your smile as well as contribute to costly dental repairs. Beyond seeing your dentist twice a year and maintaining diligent oral hygiene each day, it is important to take a close look at any habits that could be sabotaging your smile.

If you are guilty of any of the following habits, consider making changes sooner rather than later. You’ll reap some invaluable benefits that lead to a more confident smile and happier life.

Ice Chomping and Nail Biting – These may be your nervous habits or those you do without even really thinking about it. Unfortunately, they can wreak havoc on your teeth. Crunching ice and biting your nails can wear down the enamel of your teeth over time. Without this outer protective layer, you are more vulnerable to sensitivity, decay and discoloration.

Nighttime Teeth Grinding or Clenching – If you wake up with a tension headache or experience tension or popping in your jaw during the day, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Ask your dentist about a custom mouth guard to protect yourself this year.

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks – Do you rely on this type of beverage to hydrate you after a workout or get you through a busy day? Rethink your drink. Sports and energy drinks are full of sugar and acids, which create a deadly recipe for your pearly whites. As much as possible, stick to water!

Smoking – It is no surprise that smoking is bad for your health. However, when it comes to your mouth, this habit produces a full range of consequences, ranging from tooth discoloration and bad breath to gum disease and oral cancer. Keep in mind that vaping still contains nicotine and produces negative consequences towards your oral health. Do yourself an enormous favor and kick your nicotine habit.

If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and schedule your dental checkup with us at West Hill Family Dental. We promise to create a safe and comfortable environment at each visit. During a routine checkup, we perform a thorough exam of your teeth and gums to give you a good baseline of your oral health. If you have already incurred dental damage from a bad oral habit, we have a full menu of services to restore your smile.