nail biting

We all have habits; some of them are good, some of them might be harmful. Sometimes we exhibit these habits when we’re nervous, or when we’re happy. It might be surprising to learn that some “nervous ticks” or routines have a negative impact on our oral health.

Certain habits can immediately damage teeth, but some wear down enamel over a period of time. Find out which habits could be affecting your oral health:

Brushing your teeth too hard. While brushing is a good habit, the habit of brushing them too hard damages teeth. If you’re brushing too hard, you might wear down the enamel and irritate your gums. Use a soft toothbrush instead, and make gentler circles with the bristles.

Biting nails and chewing pens or pencils. If you find yourself nervously biting nails or thoughtfully chewing the end of a pen or pencil, try to find another habit. Teeth are meant to chew on food; putting pressure on them can cause the alignment of your teeth to shift, or crack teeth. Nibble on celery or carrot sticks or chew sugar-free gum instead.

Drinking soda, lemonade, coffee, or anything acidic. People who like drinking soda or other acidic drinks are putting their teeth at risk. The acid in these drinks wears down enamel, resulting in a rough texture on the tooth surface. Brushing after eating or drinking anything acidic is discouraged. The combination of softened tooth enamel and the scrubbing of the toothbrush can wear teeth more quickly.

Using your teeth as a tool. When teeth are used to tear open a bag of chips or a piece of tape, to open a bottle, or bite tags off clothing, chipping or cracking can result.

Eating ice. Because ice is basically frozen water, people may not realize the potential repercussions of chewing it. Crunching ice can create a cracked or chipped tooth. If you have a filling, the weakened tooth can break even easier.

If you display any of the habits above, be aware of the potential damage they may do to teeth. Some of them might also cause bad breath, cavities, tooth decay, mouth sores, and toothaches. Remember to floss and brush regularly, and visit your dentist for regular checkups. To schedule your appointment, contacts us at 519-305-9100 today!