Certain nervous habits like twirling your hair or tapping your fingers might annoy your friends, but they’re medically harmless. But when your habits involve your mouth, they can take a toll on your oral health by causing chipping, misalignment, and gingivitis. If you have any of the following habits, you should try to break them. If willpower doesn’t work, look into tricks, devices, or professional assistance to help. Your teeth with thank you.
- Chewing ice cubes
After drinking a cool beverage, you might be tempted to chomp on the ice cubes, but this is a bad idea. Chewing on ice cubes can crack and chip your teeth. Teeth were designed for chewing pliable foods, not busting apart hard things.
- Biting your fingernails
Biting your fingernails can eventually lead to chipped teeth and may push them out of position. In addition, unless your hands are washed thoroughly, you might get sick from the germs and bacteria you are ingesting.
- Sucking your thumb
Thumb-sucking is a habit that typically begins in childhood can sometimes be carried into adulthood. It pushes teeth out of alignment and can alter jaw structure, while also introducing germs into the mouth leading to illness.
- Chewing on a pencil
Chewing on wood pencils with metal eraser tips can lead to cracked teeth that require extensive repair. It also causes people to ingest bits of paint and wood that can cause inflammation in oral cavity tissues.
- Teeth grinding at night
Most people who grind their teeth, a disorder called bruxism, do it subconsciously while sleeping. It can cause fractures in teeth, jaw pain, and headaches. If you have facial pain in the morning, ask us to create a dental guard to protect your teeth.
- Opening packages with teeth
If you don’t have a pair of scissors or a knife nearby to open a package, it doesn’t mean that using your teeth is appropriate. This habit can chip tooth enamel and damage dental work.
- Holding items with your teeth
Again, your teeth are not a tool. Don’t use your teeth to hold items such as bobby pins while fixing your hair or nails while hanging a picture on the wall. Even if you make an effort to bite down without much pressure, you can still cause teeth to crack or shift.
- Brushing hard
If you read the package on a new toothbrush, the instructions will probably say to brush gently. Let’s emphasize gently again. Brushing hard won’t remove extra plaque or tartar (a dental cleaning is needed to do that), but it will wear down your gums and tooth enamel.