Most people have at least one bad habit that they wish they could break and some of them can have an adverse effect on our oral health.
Here are a few common, harmful habits and some tips from our endodontist in 40207 for how to break them.
Why it’s harmful: Biting of the fingernails can chip your teeth, or possibly tear or damage the gums. Placing pressure on the jaw when it is in a protruding position for long periods of time can also be harmful.
The solution: Some patients prefer to wear a mouthguard to deter their nail biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using various therapy techniques, stress reduction, or applying a bitter-tasting nail polish.
Brushing Too Hard
Why it’s harmful: While it is best to brush teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, take care to not brush too hard as this can damage the teeth and irritate the gums. When brushing too hard, we risk gum recession, and not cleaning our teeth efficiently.
The solution: To avoid brushing harder than necessary, be sure to use a soft toothbrush and apply proper, even pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums evenly, at a medium angle, and reduce the force of the brush.
Grinding and Clenching
Why it’s harmful: On top of possibly chipping or cracking your teeth, it can cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You might also experience a painful sensation when chewing or an inability to open your mouth fully.
The solution: Stay aware of and avoid grinding or clenching your teeth. When possible, use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A simple mouthguard can help protect you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. This will reduce or eliminate tooth pain or muscle soreness, and allow you to sleep better.
Chewing Ice Cubes
Why it’s harmful: Both tooth enamel and ice are made up of crystals. When two crystals are pushed against each other, one will break. It might be the ice or it might wind up being the tooth.
The solution: Consider drinking beverages without ice or try to use a straw.
Why it’s harmful: A diet consisting heavily of sugary foods and drinks, puts you at a higher risk of forming cavities. Cavity-causing bacteria feed on leftover food and sugars to produce the acids that attack tooth enamel and cause decay or infection.
The solution: To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals that leave a fuller feeling, longer. Avoid sugary foods when snacking. If tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, make sure to rinse with, or drink a glass of water afterwards, and use it to wash away the leftover food.
Using Your Teeth as a Tool
Why it’s harmful: Using our teeth as a tool to hold items, open bottles, or other tasks can put us at risk for a chipped or broken tooth, or jaw injury.
The solution: Teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut through things when scissors are not available. Instead, look for the proper tool, or find someone that can give you a hand. It will save you potentially costly and painful dental complications.
Habits that harm your teeth could, over time, necessitate endodontic care. Contact our endodontics office in Louisville, KY today to schedule an evaluation, we are here to help.