We often hear about the importance of eating healthy, at home dental care and routine professional dental treatments but what about bad habits that may be compromising your oral health? From crunching on ice, biting our nails, smoking cigarettes and even carrying things with our teeth, humans certainly have found a lot of ways to risk their oral health.
Biting Your Nails
When it comes to biting your nails, it can actually have numerous negative effects on your oral and overall health. Our nails are designed to be somewhat strong and biting on them with our teeth could result in chipping, cracking and even fracturing of teeth. The position in which you must hold your jaw in order to bite your nails can also have a big impact on jaw development and painful symptoms later in life. Our nails are also filled with bacteria and germs we encounter throughout the day, it is best not to introduce these right into our mouths. We recommend investing in anti-nail biting nail polish; they typically are sour or spicy in order to remind you to keep your fingers out of your mouth!
While chewing on ice may be a “calorie-free” way to snack, it is absolutely horrible for your smile. Our teeth were not designed to crush things as hard as ice. Ice chewing frequently results in cracked, chipped and even broken teeth along with the erosion of enamel and damage to existing dental work. If you feel the need to “chew” during the day, we recommend trying sugar-free gum.
Using Teeth as Tools
You should NEVER use your teeth as tools. Whether that be as scissors, a bottle opener or even a letter opener. Patients that use their teeth as tools often experience a higher risk of tooth damage along with tooth sensitivity. If you can’t figure out how to get something open, ask someone to borrow a tool or help.
Using Teeth to Carry Things
Along with not being tools, our teeth are also not meant to support a lot of weight. Using your teeth to hold or carry things can result in damage to your teeth along with misalignment and spacing issues. Can’t carry everything at once? Take a second trip!
What to Do If You Damage Your Teeth
Have you managed to damage your teeth due to your bad habit? Do not panic, luckily advancements in dentistry now allow dentists to restore a variety of dental complications. We recommend contacting an emergency dentist near you to determine which treatment option might be right for addressing your dental emergency.