dr. kidman

3 Habits That Harm Your Teeth

Taking care of our teeth is critical to good health. However, three habits could potentially harm our teeth. Letting go of these habits is a positive step towards maintaining healthy teeth throughout your life.

Habit Number One – Nail Biting

This nervous habit can chip teeth and impact your jaw. However, there are several ways to overcome this nervous habit.

  • Keep your nails trimmed short. Having shorter nails provides less to bite and is less tempting.
  • Apply the bitter-tasting nail polish to your nails.
  • Get regular manicures.
  • Replace the nail-biting habit with a good habit.
  • Identify your triggers.
  • Try to stop biting your nails gradually.

Habit Number Two – Brushing Too Hard

A good rule of thumb is to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after meals. In general, foods and drinks high in sugars/carbohydrates may promote the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria will damage your tooth enamel (protective layer) for 20-30 minutes. Please note it might seem appropriate to clean your teeth immediately, but that’s not always ideal.

If you consume acidic foods/beverages such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, it’s best to avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes. Your tooth enamel is at its weakest state during this time, and brushing may lead to unnecessary aggravation. In this case, it’s wiser to brush your teeth or drink water before consuming acidic foods. Brushing your teeth before consuming acidic foods helps cleanse the teeth and wash away pre-existing acids from previous meals.

In addition, some dentists recommend eliminating foods high in sugars or carbohydrates from your diet to prevent enamel erosion.

For example, sodas (regular and diet) are high in sugar, and phosphoric acid can cause substantial enamel erosion and permanent damage. Therefore, it’s best to limit or purge regular consumption of these soft drinks to improve your dental health.  Talk to your family dentist for more information about proper brushing.

Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day

A common question is how many times a day should we brush our teeth? In most cases, official studies indicate the bare minimum is “twice a day” to maintain good oral health.

The goal of brushing your teeth is to remove food particles and plaque (sticky white biofilm) on or between your teeth. If ignored, the teeth will start to erode, break down, and give rise to cavities. In most cases, the plaque will turn into tartar, which is significantly harder to remove.

Please remember this should tie in with a comprehensive oral care regimen, including the following steps.

  • Flossing (Daily)
  • Consumption of Water (At Least Eight Glasses Per Day)
  • Healthier Diet (Elimination of Sugars)
  • Limiting of Snacks Between Large Meals
  • Reducing the length of snacking time
  • Regular Dental Visits (Semi-Annual)
  • Replacement of Toothbrush (3-4 Months)

Brushing your teeth twice a day will guarantee appropriate results and make it easier to prevent tooth decay or related dental issues.

Brushing Teeth in the Morning Is Important

Brushing your teeth twice is good; one of those times should come in the morning. Brushing in the morning is the best opportunity to eliminate built-up residue (plaque), tartar, and trapped food particles.

Brushing your teeth in the morning prevents “morning breath” and additional accumulation of bacteria. The bacteria gather on your teeth overnight as saliva production slows down to a crawl. Once this happens, the bacteria will spread and multiply to eat away at your enamel. If you don’t brush your teeth, the buildup will continue.

Brush At A 45-Degree Angle

Brushing your teeth is terrific, but what about the techniques we should use? Are you brushing your teeth properly?

In most cases, you’re not, and that’s a significant issue.

Proper brushing requires a 45-degree angle, stroking in the direction your teeth grow instead of going straight across. Take the time to brush methodically (two minutes). If not, you’re most likely going to miss the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Each stroke should be careful, precise, and gentle. Please take the time to get close to your gumline as bacteria may settle in and lead to gingivitis/periodontitis.

Here is more on what the perfect brushing routine encompasses.

It’s in your favor to learn this and make it a part of your daily routine for optimal results. If not, plaque buildup, tartar, and bacteria will become a problem for your oral health.

Steps For Perfect Brushing Routine:

  • Use Soft-Bristled Brush
  • Clean Outer Surfaces of Teeth (Upper and Lower)
  • Clean Inner Surfaces of Teeth (Upper and Lower)
  • Brush Your Tongue
  • Clean Chewing Surfaces (Upper and Lower)

The ideal brushing routine stems from the implementation of these tips. Use this advice to reshape or tweak yo

ur current

regimen for increased results.

Habit Number Three – Chewing Ice Cubes

As strong as human teeth are and as hard as tooth enamel is, we should not use our teeth to crunch and grind ice cubes (in any quantity or texture). The problem isn’t merely that ice is hard but that it’s so cold. When our teeth experience extreme temperature changes, the enamel expands and contracts, causing tiny cracks and weakening the overall structure — like what happens to the pavement in places where it snows.

Weakened enamel can lead to other problems like tooth sensitivity and greater vulnerability to decay, and ice isn’t good for gum tissue either. It’s so cold that it can have a numbing effect while eating it, which might mean you don’t notice an injury to the gum tissue. Ice can even chip or break teeth as well.

Always consult your dentist for any changes in your dental health. You are welcome to visit with Dr. Ryan Kidman at Creekside Dental

8 Habits That are Harmful to Overall Dental Health

Teeth are important

Take care of your teeth. You only get one set.

Dental health is vital to overall physical health. Unfortunately, many times, oral health issues result from poor dental hygiene. In addition, several habits lead to poor dental health. Some of these habits appear harmless, but they can cause degenerating overall physical health.

As habits are identified, it might be a good time to remove any practice leading to bad dental hygiene. Be sure to consult your family dentist to improve dental health.

Let’s review eight of these bad habits. This is not a complete list of issues that could cause damage to teeth and health.

Biting Fingernails
Nail-biting leads to injuries to the nails, cuticles, and skin surrounding the nails. These broken, jagged nails can now cause damage to the delicate gum tissue. And to make things worse, fingernails harbor many germs and bacteria, leading to the risk of illness and oral infections. Fingernail biting is a habit that may cause embarrassment along with ill health.

Too Many Late-Night Eating Binges
Having too many Binge Eating Nights, more harm can happen to teeth than suspected. Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars on chewing. So, when you eat excessive carbohydrates before going to bed, it sticks to your dental surfaces and in interdental spaces, thus leading to dental problems.

Plus, many people who binge feel bad about their weight, leading to low self-esteem, which can cause more overeating. Being overweight or obese can also raise your chances of getting long-term health problems such as breathing that stops many times during the night (sleep apnea), loss of energy, and heart issues.

Chewing or Smoking Tobacco
The sugar and irritants in smokeless tobacco products can cause cavities, abrasion of teeth, teeth staining, bad breath, gum disease, receding gums, bone loss around roots, and tooth loss. In addition, other health risks such as cancer, lung disease, poor blood circulation, to mention a few.

Opening Packages with Your Teeth
Beer bottles, candy wrappers, and envelopes — don’t use your teeth when opening these items. Not only can the teeth crack you can get a chipped tooth from complex objects such as bottle caps, but this behavior can also lead to accelerated tooth wear, poor jaw alignment, and jaw pain. Also, please don’t use them like scissors. Broken teeth are expensive to repair and may lead to tooth extraction if this habit persists possible dental implants.


Drinking too many Acidic Drinks
When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. In addition, most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and harmful for your teeth causing sensitive teeth or toothache.


Too Much Coffee
The various acids found in coffee can eat through and erode your tooth enamel, allowing food particles and bacteria to seep into the teeth. Bacteria can seep into the teeth and gum tissue and increase the risk of cavities, decay, and gum disease.

Drinking too many liquids high in acid, like coffee, can weaken your enamel. Your enamel is what protects your teeth, so if it is cut or wears away, then your teeth become more vulnerable to decay.

Coffee also stains and darkens teeth over time, causing a severe dinge brown look to teeth. Coffee is also a contributor to bad breath and the need for teeth whitening.

Not Brushing/Flossing Your Teeth Daily
If you don’t brush your teeth, you get a plaque that breaks down your tooth enamel. Lack of brushing teeth will cause bad breath and eventually cause significant problems and require things like a root canal or a crown.

Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria in plaque cause swollen and bleeding gums.

Playing Sports without a Mouthguard
Mouthguards help cushion blows that might otherwise cause broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face, or jaw. It’s believed that they also may reduce the severity and incidence of concussions. You don’t have to be on the football field or in a hockey rink to benefit from a properly fitted mouthguard.

Knowing how to prevent injuries to your mouth and face is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities. See Dr. Kidman for more information on keeping kids’ teeth safe while playing sports.

These eight harmful habits listed are only a partial list of habits that can cause overall health issues that can be costly in more ways than one. The bottom line is taking care of your teeth is one of the best things you can do to maintain good health. See a dentist for regular cleanings and inspection. A dentist can catch early warning signs of teeth and gum disease that could long-term affect your health.

For your cleaning and inspection, see Creekside Dental in Idaho Falls. Reach them at 208-523-5090. Visit them online at mycreeksidedental.com