Bad Habits That Affect Your Teeth
Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest material in the human body? For this reason, it may be surprising to hear that while enamel has a reputation for being tough, it can break quite easily! Our daily habits can actually put our teeth at risk.
Beware of These Risky Habits
While these habits may not seem offensive, over time they can put your oral health at risk and even damage your beautiful smile!
Even though we use the term “nail-biters” to refer to an exciting sports game, it doesn’t mean we should actually bite our nails! Nail biting can cause teeth to chip or break, and even damage our enamel! Our front teeth are typically the first to suffer from nail biting.
Even worse for your teeth, is biting your nails with braces. Due to the pressure sustained on the teeth from orthodontic treatment, nail biting puts you at a bigger risk for tooth resorption (the shortening of tooth roots) or tooth loss. I think it’s clear we should keep the term “nail-biter” as just an expression!
Utilizing Teeth as Tools
Can’t open that packet of ketchup? Your teeth may seem like a good solution, but using the teeth as a tool is a risky habit. Your teeth are not meant to be used as tools. Doing this can lead to broken or fractured teeth and even worse, tooth loss! Keep in mind that damage to your teeth leads to a greater risk of cavities and decay.
Biting on Pencils and Pens
You may be day-dreaming or trying to solve a problem, and suddenly you have the end of a pencil or pen in your mouth. This tends to be an unconscious habit. However, it is an important one to watch out for. We don’t realize the amount of pressure we are putting on our teeth when we bite on non-food items.
Gnawing on your pencil or pen is putting you at risk for broken teeth. If this becomes a constant habit, your dental works such as fillings and crowns can be at risk. This is definitely a habit we want to stay away from!
Chewing on Ice
Do you find yourself chewing on ice often? If this sounds familiar, you may be risking breaking, cracking, or fracturing your teeth! The cold can even weaken the teeth, leading to a bigger risk of breakage. Chewing on ice not only chips teeth, but breaks down enamel as well, which leads to severe damage over time. Just remember your teeth are not equipped to break down ice cubes; your teeth aren’t a blender!
Do Yourself (And Your Teeth) a Favor
Your teeth are made to chew on food, and only food. If you find yourself exhibiting one of these bad habits, please try to quit! If you were able successfully stop one of these habits, tell us in the comments below!
Our patients are awesome!