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6 Worst Habits For Your Smile

Posted by FALLBROOK DENTAL CARE Jan 20, 2023

Many habits we engage in can affect our oral health. Nail biting, using teeth as tools, and chewing on ice are just a few of the habits that can cause harm. Read our blog to learn more about such habits. 

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a bad habit that can affect the health of our teeth in many different ways. In addition to jeopardizing the strength and appearance of our nails, nail biting can cause a number of small oral issues as well. Nail biting can cause damage to our teeth by contributing to enamel loss, breaking off parts of our front teeth, and causing misalignment. Nail biting can also wear down tooth surfaces over time.

Another serious problem that may be caused by nail-biting is jaw pain and soreness. Nail biting places excess pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Repeated pressure from nail biting can lead to headaches, earaches, neck pain, and TMJ disorders. Orthodontic treatment may be needed to correct misaligned teeth and bite problems caused by this bad habit.

If you frequently find yourself with chewed-up nails and broken teeth, it may be time to kick this bad habit for good. Talk to a dentist about strategies to help break your nail-biting habit and improve your dental health today!

Using Teeth As Tools

Using your teeth as tools to open packages or pop open plastic packaging can result in cracked teeth, chipped teeth, or even tooth loss. Don't use your teeth as tools! Instead, invest in a pair of scissors or a bottle opener from your kitchen drawer.

Chewing Ice Cubes

The enamel on our teeth is the strongest substance in our body, but it is not impervious to damage! Think about the kind of wear and tear that your teeth endure when you chow down on ice cubes regularly. They are hard, course, and jagged. These edges and edges can wreak havoc on your teeth. Make sure you only have them in your drink occasionally, as they are not good for your oral health in any way.

Frequent Snacking

Some people eat a snack every few hours throughout the day. It may not seem like a big deal to snack often, but you could be causing some damage to your teeth and gums in the process.

When you chew foods, your saliva helps break down everything and remove any leftover food particles from your teeth. But snacking too frequently causes it to wear away at your enamel. If you must snack throughout the day, try to eat foods that are softer and less likely to cause damage. Some examples include cheese cubes wrapped in thin slices of deli meat, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, or yogurt. 

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it's sometimes referred to is a common habit that can erode tooth enamel and damage the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When patients clench or grind their teeth during the day, they may wake with a sore jaw or a headache. This can have a negative impact on their quality of life when it occurs repeatedly. It may also cause further damage to teeth over time. By wearing a mouth guard at night, it's easier to protect the teeth and reduce the risk of further complications that may develop from bruxism. Mouth guards are also a great option for patients who suffer from TMJ disorders, such as lockjaw. 

Brushing Too Hard

It's important to always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently to avoid damaging our teeth and gums. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is recommended, and you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. We should also use care when flossing and not floss too forcefully or too often.

Excessive brushing can erode the enamel on our teeth, making them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. On the other hand, not brushing enough can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease.

If you have been experiencing tooth sensitivity, let us know so we can recommend the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth for you to try. We can also determine the cause of any sensitivity and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Don’t put off your dental care any longer- give us a call today! Fallbrook Dental Care is located at 645 E. Elder Street Suite A, Fallbrook, CA 92028, and can be reached at (760) 728-8375 to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Fallbrook, CA. We hope you have a happy holiday season this year!

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