- Nail Biting
Nail biting may be less common today but I still see it quite often. It can cause teeth and fillings to chip and wear.
Be mindful. Paint your nails with a bitter tasting clear polish available at your local pharmacy.
- Brushing Too Hard
Toothbrush abrasion is one of the leading causes of “notching” along the gum line and gingival (gum) recession.
Always use a soft toothbrush and never “scrub”. It’s not how hard you brush but how thoroughly. Plaque is easily removed if you are meticulous with your home care. This is also another reason why I now prefer electric brushes. They are less likely to cause damage!
- Grinding and Clenching
Bruxism (grinding) and clenching, especially at night while asleep, is a very destructive habit. It causes tooth wear, fracturing of dental restorations and can contribute to jaw joint dysfunction and muscle soreness.
If it’s during the day you can catch yourself and stop. Remember the Rule: Lips together- teeth apart! While sleeping you don’t have that control and therefore would need a Night Guard to protect the teeth and jaw muscles.
- Chewing Ice Cubes
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that chewing ice cubes, “jaw breakers” or other rock hard objects has the potential to break things. I once broke a tooth trying to eat a frozen snickers bar!
Don’t do it!
- Constant Snacking
“Grazing” may not be so healthy for your teeth depending on what you eat. If you are frequently eating a lot of sugars or other refined carbohydrates, the bacteria in your mouth are constantly churning out acids which attack the enamel causing cavities.
Snack on nuts and cheese if you’re feeling hungry. Better for you and your teeth.
- Using Your Teeth as Tools
Teeth are for chewing food and nothing more! I see many emergencies from folks who thought they could use their teeth for something they weren’t intended for.
Find the right tool for the job!
- Sugary and Acidic Drinks
Sodas and energy drinks are the biggest culprits, especially if you sip on them throughout the day. The acids eat away at the enamel and promote an environment that decay causing bacteria love!
Drink water. If you must have an occasional soda or energy drink, consume it at one sitting and rinse with water afterwards.
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding how to protect your teeth, don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA , or feel free to contact me or the staff at my office any time at 215-230-7667.