Your teeth are strong—but they’re not indestructible. Bad habits, especially when they happen over a long period of time, absolutely have the potential to damage teeth. Do you have any of the bad habits below? If so, it might be time to tweak your practices to better protect your teeth and give yourself the best chance for a healthy and strong smile for life!
Chewing on Ice
Some people enjoy chewing on ice, but this is one of the most damaging habits to have when it comes to your teeth. Chewing ice can cause cracks and chips in the teeth . Some of these cracks and chips may be superficial, meaning they won’t impact the health of your teeth, although they can affect your appearance. Others may be severe enough to cause tooth sensitivity, tooth infection, and even tooth loss if left untreated.
Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails is another habit that can damage teeth over time. Although biting your nails may not seem like a big deal when it comes to your teeth, nail biting has a few consequences when it comes to your smile.
The first is that nail biting can introduce bacteria to the oral cavity that normally wouldn’t be there, which could increase your risk for infections. Nail biting can also wear down tooth enamel, and can even accelerate teeth shifting, which can change the alignment of your teeth over time .
Using Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are meant for biting and chewing, and, along with your tongue, help you properly pronounce words when speaking. Using your teeth for other activities, such as using your teeth as tools, can result in permanent damage. This includes opening packages with your teeth, cracking nuts, and even removing pen caps. Let your teeth chew your food, and use the appropriate tool for any other activities!
Snacking All the Time
It’s beneficial to eat regular meals throughout the day, but if you’re constantly snacking, you could be causing damage to your teeth without realizing it.
When eating, your mouth is one of the first places where food begins to break down. Your oral cavity will break down food to prepare your digestive tract for receiving the food. As such, these bacteria and acids can remain in the mouth for some time after eating.
If you’re constantly snacking, you’re not giving your mouth a chance to rebalance after consuming food or drinks, especially acidic ones, which could cause tooth enamel damage and even an increased risk for cavities.
Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
Brushing your teeth is essential for removing plaque and keeping your teeth bright and healthy. However, if you’re using a stiff-bristled toothbrush and brushing your teeth too hard, you can damage both your tooth enamel and your gum tissue . The American Dental Association recommends brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage when cleaning your teeth.
Don’t Risk Damage to Your Teeth!
You can prevent damage to your teeth by reducing harmful habits and keeping up with your oral care, including regular visits to your dentist. Don’t risk damage to your teeth with these habits—make healthy changes today to protect your smile!