Maintaining your dental health is a process influenced by all sorts of factors, such as how you brush your teeth, the state of your physical health, and what foods and drinks you consume. You may know the best toothpaste to use and which floss is right for your teeth. Promoting these positive behaviors and techniques is essential to your oral health.
However, there is another half to maintaining dental health: cutting out bad habits. Your hard work when brushing your teeth and selecting what you consume is negated if you do not cut out harmful habits. Some of these habits are well-known (and popular), but you may be surprised at some of the simple, subtle, and small things that can pose a threat to your dental health. Here are 5 bad habits you should quit to enjoy healthier teeth:
#1: Chewing on Ice
You have likely heard of this one before. What is so wrong about chewing on ice, after all? It isn’t sugary or sticky like hard candy; it is just hard, solidified water. This hardness, however, is what makes ice dangerous for your teeth. By grinding and crushing ice, you are exposing your teeth and the enamel that protects it to unnecessary amounts of pressure. This will wear away the tooth enamel, leading to chips, cracks, or tooth decay.
#2: Brushing Too Hard
Yes, there is such a thing as brushing your teeth too hard. In some cases, it is nearly as bad as not brushing at all! Why? Brushing your teeth too vigorously, especially if you have a toothbrush with hard bristles, can wear away tooth enamel and cause the gums to recede — neither of which are optimal conditions for your oral health.
#3: Biting Your Fingernails
As with the previous two examples, chewing your fingernails is another culprit of wearing down your teeth and its enamel. By constantly biting your nails throughout the day, you are never giving your teeth the break they need between meals. Beyond your dental health, nail biting can lead or contribute to jaw-related issues, such as jaw locking, popping, or pain.
#4: Using Your Teeth as a Tool
Many people use their teeth for a variety of daily tasks, such as opening plastic bags, tearing off tags, and wrenching off the caps of bottles. In all of these cases, you are exposing your teeth to foreign objects with a great amount of pressure. This can break down the enamel or seriously fracture your teeth.
#5: Chewing on Pencils or Pens
Many people often do this when deep in concentration. In addition to damaging your teeth, chewing on pencils and pens is unsanitary. You expose your mouth to germs that were on the pencil or pen. If you cannot shake the urge to chew, carry around sugar free gum–an alternative that is smart for your teeth and dental health as a whole.
Interested in learning more about taking care of your teeth? Do you have a tooth chip or fracture? Greenspoint Dental is here to take care of all of your dental questions, concerns, and needs. To schedule an appointment, Contact a dentist in Houston today.