Everyone has bad habits. Watching too much TV, eating junk food, and popping your knuckles are all common, though unwise, behaviors. Another area in which many of us make poor decisions is in the realm of oral health. Bad dental habits can cause severe damage, affecting your dental function and the look of your smile. Some of these practices are obvious, while others may come as a surprise. Dr. Bradley offers many restorative and general dentistry treatments to repair the damage caused by bad habits. In some cases, she can even catch dental injuries before they become a serious concern. Then she can help you break your bad dental habits to enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile for life. To learn more about bad dental habits, contact our Nashville practice today.
Forgetting to Floss
Forgetting to floss is one of the most common bad dental habits. Even brushing two or more times a day will not dislodge food and bacteria that are trapped between your teeth. If you do not floss, bacteria will interact with sugars and other starches, forming acids that will erode your dental enamel. If this erosion process goes unchecked, the bacteria will travel deeper into your tooth, and a cavity will form.
Dr. Bradley’s first goal is to prevent decay. At your biannual checkups, she will conduct a manual scan, looking for the signs of cavities. Typically at every other visit, she will take digital x-rays to find the hidden signs of decay. If she discovers enamel erosion in the earliest stages, she can usually reverse damage before a cavity forms. She will also teach you how to care for and protect your smile. Unfortunately, a cavity may already have developed. In these cases, Dr. Bradley can treat moderately sized cavities with metal or tooth-colored fillings.
Grinding Your Teeth
Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding and clenching, is a bad habit that you may not even know you have. Whatever the cause, the continual stress on your teeth can cause severe enamel erosion. Your teeth may look significantly shorter, and they will be more prone to decay without the top protective layer. Your teeth can also weaken, or they may develop small cracks.
If you schedule your routine dental visits, Dr. Bradley can often detect the signs of bruxism before your teeth are severely compromised. Then she can provide you with a custom-made mouthguard. It will fit over your top teeth, and it will keep your teeth from touching. Usually, you will only need to wear your mouthguard at night. Dr. Bradley can also repair dental damage using a variety of techniques. Dental crowns are the most common option for worn teeth. Our restorations are made of porcelain, so they will improve your appearance, as well as your oral health. Dr. Bradley can also replace missing teeth or provide Invisalign® to address the underlying cause of your bruxism.
An occasional soft drink as a treat will not cause significant dental damage. However, like many people, you may always reach for a midday soda to feed your caffeine addiction. Regular sodas are full of sugar, which will contribute to decay. Plus, all sodas - even diet drinks - have high acidic content. As a result, soft drinks will wear away your dental enamel, increasing your risk for both decay and discoloration. Dr. Bradley can address this damage using fillings and crowns. As an outstanding cosmetic dentist, she can also provide teeth whitening to restore the healthy color of your smile.
Contact Us to Combat Your Bad Habits
To stop bad dental habits or reverse the damage they have caused, contact our office today.