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March 2019

Bad Habits that Damage your Teeth

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There are many things individuals may be doing subconsciously in their every day routine that may be damaging their teeth. Recognizing these destructive habits at a young age is detrimental to ensure they won’t linger into adulthood and damage permanent teeth. Below, are some of the most common habits for damaging teeth and solutions to help break the routines.

Children who suck their thumbs and use pacifiers past the age of 5-6 after their permanent teeth start coming hold a risk of lifelong changes to the jaw and tooth structure to their permanent adult teeth. Misalignment to the permanent teeth may result in a number of issues later in life, including, difficulty chewing and problems with breakage. To prevent these permanent changes to a child’s adult teeth, identify the triggers and use gentle and positive reinforcement to help break the habit.

When a dentist tells you that you need to start brushing better, they aren’t hinting that you need to start brushing harder like most people think. The Dentist are actually telling you that you need to brush your teeth at all angles and ensure you’re not focusing on a specific portion of  your mouth. Brushing your teeth too vigorously will do more harm in the long run than good, and can actually damage and irritate your gums while wearing down enamel on your teeth. To protect your teeth and assure you aren’t damaging your teeth while brushing, use a soft bristled tooth brush with the letters ‘ADA’ on the box. This means that the bristles are firm enough to remove the plaque on your teeth but soft enough to not cause any damage to your teeth and gums.

For many individuals, stress is the leading cause for jaw clenching and even grinding. The risk of clenching and grinding your teeth can result in cracked or chipped teeth and even joint and muscle pain in your jaw. Some individuals clench and grind their teeth in their sleep without even noticing that they do it and don’t see immediate damage until it’s too late. Clenching and grinding your teeth poses the risks of cracked or broken teeth which can result in cavities and more. Investing in a night/bite guard from your general Dentist may be necessary to minimize the clenching and grinding.

While using your teeth to open products may sound convenient at the time, but it can seriously damage the enamel and root of your teeth. Using your teeth as tools can result in cracked teeth or painful jaw injuries if the jaw us protruded for an extended amount of time. Take the extra time to find a safe and alternative way to open up a package and not risk cracking/chipping your teeth or injuring your jaw.

We all know ice chips are just water, but it’s actually more damaging than you would even begin to think. Tooth enamel is the hardest and the most highly-mineralized substance in your entire body. With this being said, your teeth are still susceptible to damage. Chewing on ice or pens/pencils can severely damage your tooth enamel, crack or even break a filling or tooth. Keeping a pack of sugar-free gum can help break this tooth-damaging bad habit and can increase saliva production which can remove cavity causing bacteria.

The most common bad habit for damaging your teeth is nail biting. Everyone has done it as some point, but what most people don’t realize is that nail biting is the result of dry hands and cuticles. Nail biting can most commonly chip your teeth, but can also cause jaw dysfunction if extended for a prolonged period of time. Try painting bitter-tasting nail polish on your nails, this can reduce the amount of times you are sticking your fingers in your mouth and cause an awful bitter taste when the polish hits your tongue. Another solution is to place cuticle oil or cream on your nails and cuticles multiple times a day. Even if you don’t notice your hands are dry and itchy, your subconscious mind will.

Every bad habit can be broken with the right amount of dedication and self perseverance. If your teeth have suffered change, we may be able to find a solution with the help of braces! Call now or contact us here to find out how our team at Orthodontist and Braces in Orange County can help you!