We all have bad habits, some being worse than others. Unfortunately for our teeth, bad habits over the course of time can cause irreparable damage to our teeth, which makes it extremely important to be aware of dangerous dental habits. By taking note of the poor dental habits in our lives and working to fix them, our teeth will thank us through stronger enamel and a healthier smile.
Biting Hard Foods
As fun as it can be to chew on ice, it’s not so fun for our teeth. The low temperature and brittle nature of ice cubes can lead to microscopic tooth fractures which can enlarge over time. These can lead to long-term dental problems which may require more serious and intensive procedures. Other foods to avoid include fruit pits, popcorn kernels and hard candies.
Biting Your Nails
Something else you should avoid biting entirely are your fingernails. Nail-biting can also lead to tooth fractures, and there have been many cases where nail-biting has led to chipped and broken teeth. Additionally, a study in the journal General Dentistry reported that people who bite their nails may be at a greater risk for bruxism, which is the unintentional grinding or clenching of teeth that can cause headaches, facial pain, recessed gums and tooth loss.
Using Hard-Bristled Toothbrushes
While hard-bristled toothbrushes may sound good in theory, they can actually cause harm to your teeth and gums. Toothbrushes with hard bristles can actually wear down the structure of your teeth and lead to tooth sensitivity. This is especially important for older adults whose roots become exposed as gums push back with age. It’s important to consult with your dentist or hygienist about what kind of toothbrush is best for you.
Using Your Teeth As Tools
If your first thought when trying to open something difficult is to use your teeth, you might want to rethink that next time. Using your teeth as tools to open objects can lead to chips and fractures, as using your teeth for jobs other than chewing food can put unnecessary stress on them. The solution? Invest in a good multi-tool so you have all the tools you need the next time you need to open something.
The Final Word
Be sure to keep these bad habits in mind, as ignoring this advice can lead to damaged teeth and smiles. These simple fixes will go a long way in preserving the health of your teeth so you can avoid long-term damage and dental problems.