5 Bad Habits That are Harming Your Teeth
Posted by Dr. Thomas Flavin Feb 17,2015
Even if you brush twice a day, floss once a day, and maintain regular visits to my dental office in Saint Louis, you may be causing damage to your teeth without even knowing it. There are many common habits that most of us do subconsciously, and these habits can be detrimental to teeth.
- Teeth Are Not Tools. No matter how easy it may seem to simply use your teeth to open that bag of chips, remove that tag from new clothing, or open that jar of nail polish, it’s definitely not worth it! Using teeth as tools to open any pesky package can result in serious damage like chipped teeth and broken restorations. Saving a few seconds by using teeth instead of grabbing the proper tool just isn’t worth it.
- Brushing Softly is Best. There’s no need to vigorously scrub your teeth. In fact, doing so can create serious damage. Hard bristles and rough brushing can contribute to sensitivity, worn down enamel, and irritated gums. Instead, choose a soft bristled toothbrush and gently brush teeth at a 45 degree angle for best results.
- Cool it on Ice Crunching. Ice is one of teeth’s worst enemies. It’s not only super hard, it’s also super cold; two things that don’t go well for teeth. Crunching on ice is a great way to fracture teeth and get tiny cracks in them. Down the road, these tiny cracks lead to much bigger problems.
- Keep Fingers Away! Biting nails is another dental habit that leads to tooth damage, among other things. Your fingernails are dirty and biting them allows all the germs hiding underneath to enter the body (yuck!). Also, fingernails are hard, really hard, and chronic biting can cause teeth to shift, break, or crack.
- And Pens Too! Like nail biting, it’s a common habit to park a pen or pencil between your teeth at meetings or when deep in thought. This, too, places a lot of pressure on teeth, causing them to shift, crack, or damaging dental restorations.
All habits are hard to break, and dental habits are no exception. So try your best to catch yourself and work on fixing them. Need some tips for helpful ways to break a habit? Talk to any of us at my Saint Louis dental office!
Accepting patients from Saint Louis, Affton, Webster Grove, and surrounding areas.