For the most part, dentists are very easy-going people—after all, they’re job is to brighten your smile. With that said, there are some bad oral habits we all have that make our dentists go dental—I mean, mental.
Whether it’s forgetting to brush your teeth—or brushing them too hard—there are a million ways you can cause damage to your smile without even noticing it. Here are just 5 of those habits that are damaging to your teeth… and your dentist’s mental health.
1. Nail Biting
Whether you’re nervous, frightened, or simply can’t find the nail clippers, biting your nails is a habit that’s tough to break. But break it, you must. Nail biting is surprisingly damaging to your teeth. Despite the fact that your pearly whites can make quick work of hangnails, over time this habit will erode your teeth’s enamel coating, increasing your chances of developing tooth decay.
Additionally, protruding your lower jaw to bite your nails for extended periods of time increases your chances of developing jaw dysfunction. Not to mention, there’s no telling what bacteria are lurking beneath your nails just waiting to cause gum disease.
Bitter-tasting nail polishes can reduce the urge to make a meal out of your keratin-coated fingertips but, ultimately, you’ll want to reduce the stress, anxiety or boredom that gives you the urge to bite away at your nails in the first place.
2. Using Your Teeth as Tools
Tooth enamel is tough, but it isn’t adamantine. Using your teeth to open stubborn cans of soda, hard plastic packaging and even foil bags full of your favourite snack can leave you with more than a sweet tooth. Our teeth are designed to rip, tear and chew food but using them like the all-purpose attachment in a toolbox opens up the possibility of chipping or cracking them.
While it’s simply best to reach for the pliers or pair of scissors, your dentist will understand if you just couldn’t wait to open that can of sugar-free grape soda and chipped your tooth in the process. For precisely those instances, dentists offer restorative cosmetic dental work such as implants and bridges.
3. Brushing Too Hard
Applying a little elbow grease to the soap and scum stains on your shower door is a great idea. Applying elbow grease to the red wine stains on your teeth is, well, a very bad idea.
While brushing and flossing twice daily is part of any good oral and dental care routine, it is possible to do too much of a good thing—or to do it with too much enthusiasm. Applying too much pressure when you’re brushing your teeth might get rid of an extra food particle or two but it will also get rid of your gum tissue and increase your chances of developing gum disease.
For the particularly keen toothbrushers amongst us, there are electric toothbrushes with sensors that will notify you if you’re brushing too hard. Dentists also offer surgical and non-surgical gum treatments to undo some of the damage caused by excessively eager brushing.
4. The Ice Cube Diet
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of looking out over the Grand Canyon, you’ve probably marvelled at the corrosive power of running water. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of sinking into a pothole the size of the Grand Canyon while on the highway, you’ve probably cursed the corrosive power of frozen water. In other words, don’t underestimate water, no matter what state it’s in.
Chewing on ice cubes, for example, presents a surprising risk to your oral and dental health. Much like using your teeth as a multi-purpose tool, chewing on ice can chip or crack your teeth. Even if a mischievous block of ice doesn’t succeed in chipping your molar, it can dislodge or otherwise damage fillings, crowns and veneers.
To avoid putting your smile “on ice” while you wait for restorative dental work, it’s better to allow ice to melt and turn into its less tooth-breaking form of liquid water. If you absolutely must chomp down on ice cubes, make sure that you soften the ice first by allowing it to melt somewhat in your mouth.
Portrait Dental is Here to Protect Your Teeth
There are countless other habits that are bad for your teeth but it’s doubtful that we could list them all here without giving your dentist a heart attack. Fortunately for you, Portrait Dental offers the best dental services in Toronto’s Liberty Village so that you can fend off bad habits as easily as you fend off bad breath. Book your next appointment with us today and let’s kick the habit together.