Good oral hygiene is vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash are the best ways to care for your teeth. However, there are some daily habits that can damage our teeth. Here are some of them.
Nail biting is a common bad habit that can be harmful to our oral health in a number of ways. While many people chew their nails out of nervousness or stress, chewing on the tips of the fingers and toenails can cause a variety of problems. In fact, nail-biting can even lead to cracked or broken teeth! The habit of nail biting can also result in problems with tooth alignment if performed often. This is because the pressure that is placed on the teeth from the surrounding skin can lead to the shifting of the position of teeth in the mouth. This can lead to issues with bite as well.
Using Teeth As Tools
Many patients use their teeth to open packages or remove bottle caps when they don’t have scissors handy – but these actions can be very hard on our teeth and can also damage the protective layer of enamel. It’s much better to use a pair of scissors or the correct tool for the job.
Chewing Ice Cubes
Ice cubes can cause damage to our teeth for a number of reasons. First, they are hard and can chip or crack your teeth when chewed on directly. Also, the cold temperatures of ice can cause sensitive teeth to ache or even make the nerves exposed in the mouth hurt.
Thumb sucking is a very old bad habit that many children and even adults struggle with today. The habit of sucking on a thumb or finger can create a number of issues, including:
- Misaligned teeth
- Mouth pain
- Tooth decay and cavities
- Demineralization in teeth
- Speech impediments
- Impacted adult teeth
The best thing to do is to break the poor habit before your child gets older. However, if your child is already past the age of three and has continued the habit, you may want to consider using a mouthguard to prevent issues such as tooth fractures and alignment problems. Speak to your dentist about the best options for breaking the habit.
Teeth grinding and clenching are often done in response to high stress or anxiety, so try to identify what is causing you distress and resolve that issue before seeking treatment for bruxism. To stop teeth grinding at night, use a custom night guard to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of constant jaw clenching.
Brushing Too Hard
When you brush your teeth too hard, you risk damaging the enamel on your teeth and causing receding gums or gum recession. The roots of the teeth may also be exposed as a result. You may also cause abrasions on your gums from brushing too forcefully. Some people brush their teeth with too much force because they have sensitive teeth that are aggravated by normal contact between teeth and toothpaste or other products. If you suffer from this kind of sensitivity, talk to your dentist about using a sensitive-formula toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage to the surface of the tooth. Your dentist may recommend using a soft rubber tip on the bristles of the toothbrush to protect your gums as well.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (760) 433-9255 to have a consultation with us, and we will be happy to assist you further.