Maintaining a healthy, brilliant smile often includes an effective oral hygiene routine, a balanced diet, and abstaining from bad habits like tobacco or drug use. However, there are a few daily habits that may put the health of your teeth at risk. Here at Waco Dental in Waco, TX, we’ve observed the 6 most common harmful habits to avoid:
1. Nail biting
2. Brushing aggressively
3. Grinding and clenching your teeth
4. Chewing ice cubes
5. Constant snacking
6. Using your teeth as tools
How Does Nail Biting Affect Your Oral Health?
You might think that your teeth are much tougher than your fingernails, but gradually nail biting can cause severe damage to your teeth and gums. Nail biting can cause the following:
- Erosion, chipping, and cracking: The grinding friction of teeth against nails can gradually deteriorate the enamel, or even cause teeth to chip or crack.
- Alignment issues: Biting your nails can also cause your teeth to shift, leading to problems with your bite and gaps.
- Gingivitis: Daily activities can cause a lot of dirt and bacteria to get trapped under your fingernails. When you chew or bite on your nails that dirt and bacteria are then introduced into your mouth. This can cause gingivitis which can progress to gum disease.
How Does Brushing Your Teeth Aggressively Damage Your Teeth?
Brushing your teeth too hard can have two significant consequences for your oral health:
- Early deterioration. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, it wears over time due to over-vigorous brushing. Applying heavy pressure may slowly erode your enamel, which cannot repair itself once it suffers significant damage. You may experience increased dental sensitivity and a heightened risk of cavities.
- Gum recession. Brushing too hard can cause the gum tissue to get smaller and if the recession shrinks enough, the roots of your teeth could become exposed. The roots of your teeth are much more sensitive to outside bacteria and are at a higher risk of decay because they have no enamel to protect them.
Did You Know Grinding and Clenching Your Teeth Affects Your Oral Health?
Many people who clench their teeth might not even realize they are doing it. When you are grinding your teeth you are moving your teeth back and forth, front and center. This action wears down the surfaces of your teeth and could also lead to future problems with tooth fractures or even bone loss around the roots of your teeth.
Chewing Ice Cubes Is Bad For Your Teeth
It is extremely common for people to chew ice. However, chewing ice can lead to the following consequences:
- Damage tooth enamel
- Damage gums
- Crack or chip teeth
- Damage dental fillings
You Should Consider That Constant Snacking Leads to Dental Problems
Frequent snacking on high-sugar foods is a major source of tooth decay which may result in enamel erosion and cavities. This happens because your teeth have more opportunities to accumulate bacteria that harm your teeth.
Why You Should Not Use Your Teeth As Tools?
Using your teeth for reasons other than chewing food such as holding objects, opening bottles, or cutting packages, can harm your teeth in the following ways:
- Chipping or breaking your teeth
- Cuts to the gums, lips, or other areas around the mouth
- Damage to your jaw
What Can I Do If I Already Have a Damaged Tooth?
Often, if these habits progress they can become unconscious behavior that blends into your daily routine. If you have experienced any pain or injury to your teeth as a result, Waco Dental offers the following solutions:
- White fillings
- Root Canal
- Dental Implants
- Oral surgery includes tooth extractions, removal of impacted wisdom teeth, bone grafts, and the placement of dental implants.
- All on 4 dentures and snap-on dentures
- Deep cleanings
If you have a cavity, chipped tooth, missing tooth, dental decay, irritated gums, or any other sort of dental issue call (254) 754-3505 to make an appointment with us.