You brush your teeth, you floss, you do the basic things to take care of your dental health. However, you may still be doing things that actually damage your teeth! These things are seemingly harmless, but they can actually be the means of chipping, moving and even breaking your teeth.
Chewing on Ice
Your teeth are made up of bone covered in a hard enamel layer that does its best to protect the sensitive bone, which covers a sensitive nerve, from being broken. Ice, although relatively easy to break, is still hard enough that the intense pressure on your teeth that occurs when you chew on ice pieces can still chip hard enamel or, even worse, break sensitive teeth. It can also damage or dislodge fillings and oral appliances like permanent retainers and braces. Chewing on ice with any consistency can slowly wear down your enamel severely. Be kind to your teeth and keep your ice in your drinks!
Brushing Teeth Too Hard
Believe it or not, you can brush too severely for your teeth and gums to handle. While you should brush well—sufficiently “rigorous” enough to dislodge and clean all the plaque and particles stuck to your teeth—there is such a thing as brushing too rigorously. Too much pressure with too stiff of bristles on your toothbrush can, over time, wear away at your enamel and your gum line until the gums begin to recede and the teeth actually become weak. This can cause the need for a gum graft, to replace the gum tissue that has been damaged so that your teeth are held in place and protected well. Make sure you brush well and thoroughly, but not so hard that it damages your teeth.
Biting Your Fingernails
You know that biting your nails isn’t good for the nails themselves, but it is equally bad for the teeth doing the biting! This chewing action on nail keratin grinds consistently at the teeth themselves, wearing away enamel similarly to how chewing ice wears enamel. If your teeth are already sensitive, biting fingernails can even chip or crack the sensitive tooth! Furthermore, chewing nails can also cause those teeth to move position, which can result in harmful or unappealing gaps between teeth or problems with your jaw’s bite. So, kill two bad habit birds with one stone and stop biting your nails!
Maybe you’ve already overcome habits or temptations like these… but how are your kids doing with them? Make sure your kids have healthy dental habits and if they don’t, bring them in for an interceptive orthodontic care evaluation to ensure that their dental development is where it should be!