Your adult teeth are the only ones you get–there are no do-overs! That is why it is so important to take good care of them. In addition to maintaining good dental hygiene habits, some bad habits can harm your teeth. If you do any of these things, it’s time to stop!
Biting Your Nails
Nail biting is a popular nervous habit. Unfortunately, this habit is destructive in multiple ways. It increases your chances of getting a nail infection, it can warp your nails, it can cause painful hangnails, and it can damage your teeth. When you bite your nails, you run the very real risk of cracking, chipping, or breaking your teeth. It can also cause jaw pain.
Stop the habit by trimming your nails regularly, never letting them get long in the first place. Keeping them well-manicured can also help. Finally, there are safe but extremely bitter nail polishes designed to deter you from biting your teeth and help you break the habit.
Grinding Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth when you sleep it is important to see your dentist. Grinding your teeth over time can lead to greater sensitivity and broken teeth. The constant grinding motion also wears down the enamel on the affected teeth, leading to tooth decay. It can even cause TMJ disorder, which is a painful dysfunction of the jaw.
Because teeth grinding generally happens when you are asleep, it isn’t something you can typically stop. However, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard that will protect your teeth while you sleep.
Crunching on ice might be extremely satisfying, but it is a bad habit that can damage your teeth. Because ice is so hard it can crack, chip, or break your teeth. It also gradually wears down your tooth enamel, leading to cavities and other dental issues. Instead of chewing on ice, get in the habit of sipping ice water. Drinking water is not only good for every tissue in your body, but it also helps prevent cavities.
You want your teeth to last a lifetime. Protect them by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, using mouthwash, and overcoming your poor dental habits. It also helps to cut back on sugar, limit your intake of soda, and watch out for tooth-staining beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine. If you need help stopping any of these tooth-destroying habits, talk to your dentist.
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