We all know the most obvious habits of bad dental care — not brushing or flossing regularly, missing cleanings, etc. But there are many other ways you could be mistreating your teeth in ways that don’t seem so awful at first glance, but may later lead to more serious problems and even require surgery. The oral surgeons at Anchorage’s Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska are here to examine some of these seemingly harmless, yet potentially destructive, habits.
Here are four habits that are detrimental to your oral health, as highlighted by Anchorage’s leading oral surgeons:
- Nail Biting: While it’s not the most pleasant habit in general, biting nails can be especially bad for your teeth because it can cause them to shift out of place. It can also splinter your tooth enamel and cause chips or cracks in teeth — to the extent of necessitating cosmetic dental care.
- Ice Chewing: Chewing ice is a common way for people to relieve stress. Ironically, while it calms nerves, it actually causes teeth to undergo stress due to the pressure of the harsh biting down of the ice cubes. Teeth can weaken from the pressure and the cold temperature of the ice, and the hardness of the ice can cause stress on the jaw joint.
- Using Teeth As Tools: Teeth are meant to help us eat and speak. Using them for additional functions, like ripping off clothing tags, opening packages, and unscrewing bottles, can cause chips in your teeth — or worse fractures, which can also require oral surgery.
- Incorrectly Using Toothpicks: Toothpicks can help remove pesky bits of food from your teeth, but if they’re overused or used too forcefully, they can cause serious damage to your gums and enamel. Aggressive toothpick use can lead to broken teeth and damaged roots, and if a splinter is left in the gum, it could lead to infection — calling for the service of oral surgeons.
It’s important to be more aware of the stress you may be subjecting your teeth to. If you think your teeth may be showing the effects of these habits, contact the oral surgeons at Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska at (907) 561-1430, and visit them online for more information.