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Bad Habits for Teeth

Chewed PencilEveryday Habits can Impact Oral Health

Most of us have a bad habit or two that we’d like to change. Here are some common habits that are especially hard on teeth:

  • Biting or Chewing Non-Foods Items
    Maybe you’ve done it for years with no harm, but each time you bite a non-food object is unnecessary wear and tear, making chips and other damage more likely. If you chew on pencils or toothpicks, bite your nails, or use your teeth as a tool to open things, this applies to you. Instead, combat nervous chewing habits with sugarless gum, and get a nail tool or pocketknife to give your teeth a break!
  • Chewing Ice (and other hard foods)
    Though they may be edible, ice cubes and other hard foods can be just as damaging to teeth. Crushing ice, biting hard candy, and cracking nutshells with your teeth should all be avoided.
  • Clenching and Grinding
    Clenching or grinding of teeth is called bruxism, and it can occur both during the day and subconsciously at night, usually due to stress. Either way, this bad habit can be damaging to teeth. Unchecked grinding can wear down chewing surfaces and weaken enamel, eventually making teeth more prone to fracture. Proper diet, exercise, and a regular sleep schedule can help with the stress, and a custom-fitted nightguard or mouthguard can prevent further damage.
  • Tobacco/Nicotine Use
    Whether you smoke cigarettes or use chewing tobacco, you probably know this is a bad habit in general. And it’s not good for your mouth or teeth either. Cigarette, cigar, pipe smoking, and smokeless tobacco all increase your risk of gum and oral cancers. Vaporizers are the newest trend on the smoking scene, and while there haven’t yet been long-term studies to determine impacts on oral health, it’s safe to say it probably isn’t risk-free. Consider nicotine patches, gum, or wean yourself off to break the habit!
  • Toothbrush Abrasion
    When it comes to brushing teeth, more is better, right? Wrong! Just like anything else, you can overdo it. Excessive brushing, or brushing with too much force, can wear down tooth enamel and irritate gums. It’s called toothbrush abrasion. Dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush for this very reason, and further, emphasize using only minimal pressure while brushing. Try to gently polish your teeth rather than scrubbing and scouring.

About Dr. Jayson A. Chalmers

Jayson Chalmers was raised in Placerville, CA and graduated from El Dorado High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley. He went on to receive his dental degree from the University of California, San Francisco. After practicing as an associate dentist in Napa, CA, Dr. Chalmers returned to Sacramento to be closer to friends and family. He began practicing in his current location in January 2005.   Knowing that patients want to have the best options and treatment available to them, Dr. Chalmers has completed many hours of advanced educational training in general, implant, orthodontic, and cosmetic dentistry. He continues to learn and incorporate many of the latest dental technologies in his practice. Through the use of intraoral cameras, digital x-rays and computer imaging he can immediately show and explain all treatment options to the patient.   Dr. Chalmers is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the Sacramento District Dental Society, the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and is involved in local dental study groups. Dr. Chalmers also is an active participant in Smiles for Kids, where free dental services are provided to local children in need.   Dr. Chalmers and his wife, Desirae, are the parents of Ella and Ava. They are an outgoing family and are very involved in the Arden-Arcade community. As a family, they enjoy tending to their chickens and organic garden, splashing around in the pool and traveling to beachside locations. Dr. Chalmers personal interests include camping and fishing and watching and playing most sports.

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