Nail biting, using teeth as tools, chewing ice cubes, frequent snacking, chewing foreign objects, thumb sucking, teeth grinding, and brushing too hard are all bad habits that can affect our oral health. Here is how.
Nail biting is a common bad habit that can affect your oral health. The constant chewing of fingernails can weaken your teeth, causing chips and cracks to develop. Biting your nails can also cause or worsen TMJ disorder. If you bite your nails, try wearing gloves throughout the day to break the habit.
Another bad habit that can affect your dental health is frequent snacking. When we snack between meals, our teeth are exposed to large amounts of sugar and starch. When sugar and starch are left on our teeth, bacteria quickly form, releasing harmful acids which can destroy tooth enamel. Limit snacking to meal times and brush your teeth directly after enjoying a snack. To avoid cavities from snacking, choose healthy snacks such as cheese, raw vegetables, nuts, fruits, plain yogurt, popcorn without butter and salt, and air-popped kernels.
Using Teeth As Tools
Biting or chewing on pens, pencils, fingernails, or other hard non-food objects can crack or chip teeth. This not only causes excessive wear on the tooth enamel, but the tooth may become weaker over time as the enamel wears down. In severe cases, this can lead to tooth loss or require a dentist to cap a broken or chipped tooth with a crown.
Opening packages with your teeth, tearing tags off clothing, or ripping open bags can also cause chips in your teeth as well as possible cracks in your natural teeth. In most cases, the damage may need the intervention of a dentist.
Chewing Ice Cubes
One of the biggest culprits of tooth damage is chewing ice like it’s a popsicle. Not only does it increase your risk of chipped teeth, but it can cause cracks and fractures in your teeth that go all the way down to the root. Rather than crunching on ice throughout the day, consider drinking a cold beverage with a straw instead. This will help protect the teeth while still allowing for a delicious and refreshing drink.
Both children and adults can suffer from teeth grinding, also called bruxism. This can occur while sleeping or awake. Bruxing occurs as a result of several behaviors, such as stress, anxiety, an abnormal bite, or crooked teeth. Those who grind their teeth tend to be unaware of it until they notice the telltale signs of the condition, which include pain in your jaw, as well as worn-down teeth and loose fillings. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss. This is why it is important to visit our office for treatment as soon as possible. We can provide a custom mouth guard for you to wear while you sleep to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.
If you want to learn more tips to maintain good oral health, visit Discount Dental at 2735 W Court St, Pasco, WA 99301. You can also reach us at (509) 212-9227.