Oral Health; Common habits that damage the teeth and how to prevent them

Closeup on happy young woman brushing teeth

Maintaining good oral health is an important practice for both adults and children.

Our mouths harbor millions of microorganisms, some which are beneficial and others are detrimental to oral health. Brushing the teeth at least twice a day helps to remove the food particles which these microorganisms utilize for their survival.

Microorganisms use the food remnants in the mouth and in turn produce acids which act on the teeth enamel causing cavities. Both children and adults need to be taught on proper ways of cleaning their teeth to maintain a good oral health.

Cleaning the teeth regularly is however not the only guarantee to good oral health. Human teeth are sensitive and therefore should be taken good care of. There are habits inherent in some people that are harmful to the health of their teeth. These habits can result to teeth loss, fracturing or loosening of the teeth.

One of the common habits that is harmful to the teeth is chewing of non-food items such as ice cubes, plastics, metals, or wood. Chewing on such items may lead to fracturing of the teeth or evening injuring of the soft tissue in the mouth. When teeth are injured, an individual experiences sharp pain when taking hot or cold foods since the nerves are left exposed. Sometimes, severe headaches may follow when tooth injuries occur.

Some of these habits are hard to let go and they mostly occur unconsciously to most people. An individual can however suppress such habits by chewing on non-sugar chewing gums whenever such hankerings arise. Non-sugar chewing gums also triggers the production of saliva by various glands inside the mouth which helps in cleaning the mouth.

Another habit that is harmful to oral health is participating in sports without a mouth guard. A mouth guard is a molded plastic that is fit in the upper and the lower rows of teeth to prevent them from damage during sports. Teeth can easily be injured when playing sports such as football, hockey, rugby and other sports as well.

Night mouth guards come in handy especially for individuals suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is a condition characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth unconsciously by some people especially at night. This disorder is harmful to the oral health as it can cause loosening of the teeth, fracturing and sometimes loss of teeth.

This health condition is mainly as a result of stress and anxiety in both adults and children. However, grinding of teeth in children could be caused by some illnesses such as ringworms. Children with an improper alignment of teeth on their jaws could also suffer from bruxism. Some sleeping disorders such as sleep talking and sleep walking can result to bruxism in both adults and children.

This condition can be managed if the cause is diagnosed. Individuals suffering from bruxism can protect their teeth by using night mouth guards when they sleep. Mouth guards can be purchased from various stores that deal with oral health items.

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