Everyone has a bad habit they would like to break, whether it’s biting your nails or smoking. Some bad habits are especially bad for your teeth, and can interfere with orthodontic treatment or even make braces necessary when you didn’t need them before! Keep on reading to discover our top five bad habits you absolutely must break to preserve the health of your teeth.
1. Skipping the floss
Even if you brush your teeth diligently on a regular basis, it can be tempting to save a tiny bit of time and ‘forget’ to floss for days, weeks, or months at a time. Flossing is an essential part of any dental hygeine routine. No matter how thoroughly you brush your teeth, food lurking in the gaps could still cause cavities. Flossing is important for everyone, even orthodontic patients! If you have braces, a tool such as a WaterPik is your best option for flossing. Not using it can be even more detrimental for orthodontic patients, as braces create extra nooks and cranny for food to hide in, which could lead to tooth decay.
2. Opening packages with your teeth
Opening packages with your teeth might seem so natural that you don’t even think about it. In reality, this habit can be very harmful, sometimes even leading to broken or chipped teeth. If you have braces, opening packages with your mouth puts a similar amount of pressure on your teeth and braces as many foods on the do-not-eat list, and could lead to the implements breaking. Don’t do it!
3. Chewing on other hard objects
Idly chewing on a pen at work or school, crunching ice, or biting your fingernails all cause the same issues as opening packages with your teeth. To avoid damage to your teeth or braces, end these habits as soon as possible.
4. Playing sports without a mouthguard
Wearing a mouthguard is absolutely essential for patients with braces who play sports that involve contact. While it may be a hassle at first, a mouthguard goes a long way in protecting your orthodontic implements and teeth from any hard hits or jostling that may take place while you’re on the field. In some extremely contact-heavy sports, a mouthguard is recommended for all participants, even those without braces. Protect your teeth from pain and future treatments and wear a mouthguard!
Many of the youngest patients in need of advanced orthodontic treatment are thumb-suckers. As soothing as this habit may be to children, it can cause serious shifting in teeth, necessitating lengthy and costly orthodontic treatment plans. To avoid reversing the work already done by your child’s braces or help reduce his or her need for future treatment, try to end your child’s thumb-sucking habit before it begins.
Each of these habits can be tough to break, but ending them will go a long way toward improving general oral health and speeding along orthodontic treatment. If you would like to discuss orthodontic treatment or have questions about your dental habits, Tisseront Orthodontics is here to assist you! Contact us today.