Your teeth can be sensitive, and if you want to preserve your smile and oral health, it’s important to avoid bad habits. There are everyday habits many people have that seem harmless, though, they can harm your teeth. There are some you may not even be aware of, so it’s important to recognize any symptoms and see a dentist for treatment. Here are some of the most common habits to avoid.
A Guide to Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth
1. Chewing Ice
Chewing ice can seem totally harmless and even beneficial since you’re hydrating your body. Ice, however, puts stress on your teeth, and over time, you’re going to wear down your enamel or cause chips, leading to increased cavities and cosmetic issues. Use a straw when you drink to break the habit or eliminate ice from your diet altogether. Consider supplementing it with sugar-free gum.
2. Biting Your Nails
Chomping off a hangnail or fingernail that’s too long can cause more problems that you may think. Like ice, fingernails are capable of wearing down enamel and cracking teeth. They’re also home to bacteria that can enter your mouth and cause infections. Cut your nails often and pay attention to triggers, such as stress, that cause you to bite.
3. Biting Your Lips
Gnawing on your lower lip or cheek won’t break your teeth, but it can create wounds. It can be difficult for these to heal, as they often re-open when eating. You may also be pulling your jaw out of its natural alignment, which can create pain over time, leading to an unexpected dentist appointment. If stress causes you to bite your lips, meditate or find other calming practices to work with the stress.
4. Teeth Grinding
Many people aren’t aware that they’re doing this, though they’ll notice the side effects: headaches, TMJ pain, and soreness are just a few. You’ll often notice them when waking up in the morning. Be conscious of grinding throughout the day, and if you’re doing it at night, speak to your dentist about a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth.
If any of the above habits are causing symptoms, contact John P. Belbas, DDS. Since 1987, residents of Livingston County, NY, have turned to this dentist for all their dental care needs. He’s proud to maintain a welcoming environment and offer both oral hygiene and cosmetic dentistry services. His team takes every measure to help patients achieve a healthy smile. Schedule an exam by calling (585) 346-5220 today.