When you’re feeling restless during a meeting, do you often find yourself biting the top of your pen? And what about after lunch — do you like to hold onto the cup and enjoy the ice for a while after? If you have any of these bad oral health habits, your Boston dentist wants you to know of the danger they present to your teeth. Keep reading to learn why, and what you can do to break them.
#1: Nail Biting/ Pen Chewing
Biting or chewing on your nails (or any object) is something your parents always tried to get you to stop as a child, and if that habit has held over to adulthood, you’re probably ready to quit as well. Maybe learning about the effect it can have on your teeth will help — did you know biting on your nails increases your risk of having a chipped or broken tooth? Not to mention tooth sensitivity and putting your health at risk by exposing you to all the germs your fingers encounter every day. If you’re ready to quit, try transferring the habit to something else, like snapping a rubber band around your wrist or squeezing a stress ball when you’re nervous or anxious.
#2: Eating Ice
This may seem like a mindless activity, something you don’t even notice yourself doing after lunch — but chomping down on ice can really harm your tooth enamel. It’s the hardest substance in the human body, true, but repeated pressure against ice can put it at risk of breaking, chipping, or wearing away. Next time, push the cup of ice to the side after you finish your beverage.
#3: Chewing Gum with Sugar
Are you reading your chewing gum package carefully enough? When you pick up a pack to enjoy after meals or throughout the day, make sure you’re choosing sugarless gum. Anything else will put you at a much higher risk of developing cavities — defeating any temporary gains you may get in the fresh-breath department.
#4: Not Flossing
The #1 good oral health habit most adults routinely skip is flossing. If you are not cleaning between your teeth on a daily basis, you are allowing plaque, food particles, and bacteria to build up. Given enough time, it’s highly probable that you will develop tooth decay and gum disease. Bad breath, receding gums, and even missing teeth may not be far behind. So, if you want to develop one good habit? Set a timer on your phone each night as a reminder to start flossing.
#5: Grinding Your Teeth
Whether it is due to work, family, or social pressures, many of us spend our days stressed out. Unfortunately, this habit can lead to destructive teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Both are associated with broken teeth, weak and worn enamel, gum recession, and other serious issues. Finding a therapeutic outlet for your stress can help — like vigorous exercise, talk therapy, or meditation. You may want to discuss investing in a customized mouthguard with your dentist to cushion the tooth enamel from excessive pressure.
There you have it; these are 5 habits that it’s time to break! If you need more assistance, don’t wait to talk to your dentist in Boston about how.
Meet the Practice
Kraft & Schrott Dental Associates provides comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. If you are struggling with any of the above habits or would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning to make sure your oral health is on track, do not hesitate to contact the office at 617-977-5266.