There are habits that can spoil your smile and even if you are born with a Hollywood smile, some bad habits can erode your teeth and gums. These are the most frequent habits in adults that can affect your smile:

  1. Biting nails, hair pins, pencils, buttons…
  2. Smoking
  3. Piercings

 “A long healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits”. Dan Buettner

NAIL BITING

Do you tend to bite your nails when you are nervous? Do you prefer hair pins, your lower lip, pencils, buttons,…every time you do it you push your mandible forward and the disc in your jaw joint gets deformed, the bone is eroded and you start feeling tired when you chew. You may hear pops, clicks, while eating apart from spoiling your finger nails and be the cause of worn down teeth and micro fractures.

If you cannot stop it you may change it for other habits like squeezing a small foam toy when you feel tempted to bite your nails. You could also use a bitter nail polish bought on the chemist or cover your fingertips with gel nails, but it will only work if you really want to stop. Actually nail biting is symptom of stress and you are looking for a way to release it. Could you find more constructive ways to relax? Maybe some deep and conscious breathes?

SMOKING

Is tobacco your issue? When you smoke, whether it is tobacco or marihuana, the heat dehydrate your salivary glands, and you feel your mouth dry. The saliva has enzymes that protect your gums. When the saliva is lacking the soft tissue gets inflamed and periodontal “pockets” are formed around your teeth, it is then very easy for bacteria to colonize them and it produces an inflammation that attack your supporting bone.

The bone disappears from the inflammation and the gums shrink. Usually you will find blood on you toothbrush after cleaning your teeth and you may see some black triangles appear as the gums migrate and the root of the tooth are exposed, add a smoky breath and some nicotine tooth stains and your smile will lose it attractiveness

If you keep smoking for a long time the teeth become loose and you can end up losing some teeth and molars. Keeping your smile in shape and a healthy and strong teeth means changing your habits.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is related to cardiovascular problems, erectile dysfunction, premature birth…

Stop smoking when you have the habit for a long time is difficult, nicotine is addictive but if you really want to stop it you can find help in different associations, your doctor, hypnosis, nicotine substitutes,…use what works best for you and remember it is not only you but also your family that will benefit from your decision.

While you are smoking remember to drink lots of water to keep your mouth hydrated, avoid hot drinks, brush your teeth 2-3 times a day using dental floss and antiseptic rinses (without alcohol) and keep your dental appointment regularly.

PIERCINGS

Are you planning to have a piercing on your mouth? Piercings on the tongue have a high risk of infections, the microvillus around the taste buds are full of bacteria, sometimes you can see a white, yellow or green colour of the tongue depending on the kind of bacteria present on it. Remember that a healthy tongue is pink colour. Use antiseptics every time after brushing your teeth (and tongue) and while it heals avoid tobacco, alcohol and fats.

The tongue is a very mobile muscle and is moving all the time, piercings on the tongue tends to move slowly away from the centre and end up at the tip. As you talk, swallow, chew, kiss…it can beat the teeth or gums and thus produce small fractures on dental edges or retractions on the gums that cover the roots of the teeth.

If you already have it, keep and extremely good oral hygiene keeping it clean and without food leftovers, use antiseptic rinses (alcohol free) after brushing your teeth and check that the lock is tied to avoid aspirations of the parts.

If you want to make your smile special you could use dental gems instead that could even be personalized, they adhere to the teeth, they don´t harm the gums and it is a safer way of decorating your smile in a unique way.

Your habits determine your quality of life. Denis Waitley

Do you have a habit and would you like to know if it is affecting your oral health? Would you like to improve the situation of your smile? Please call our office at 952 777747 for a free consultation and we will give you more details on how to style and keep your smile in shape.

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