Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS

What Are Some Harmful Habits for Your Teeth that You Wouldn’t Expect?

July 29, 2021
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Posted By: Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS

Did you know that dental enamel is the strongest substance in the human body? And it has to be to deal with all that they help us accomplish. We use our teeth for many different things, like chewing, speaking, and smiling, but sometimes we use our teeth in ways that can damage them.

Though our teeth are strong and meant to last for life, they are not indestructible. Our teeth can undergo severe wear and damage from seemingly harmless actions or habits. Some of these habits may seem normal or convenient, but they can damage your teeth and lead to a dental emergency or costly treatment.

Here are some of the most common harmful oral health habits.  

#1 Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Our teeth are designed to bite and chew food, but sometimes we end up using them as a tool to open bottles or packages, crunch ice, and more. These activities can damage the teeth or cause breakages and a dental emergency that could have been prevented.

#2 Biting Your Nails

This is a common habit, but it’s also very damaging to your teeth. Over time, it can alter the shape of your teeth and cause tooth pain and sensitivity. 

#3 Using Tobacco

Smoking and using tobacco are very harmful to your teeth and your overall physical health. Smoking can discolor and weaken the teeth, and it also affects the gums. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use also makes smokers twice as likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers.

#4 Chewing Ice

Chewing ice may seem harmless, but it can result in a broken or chipped tooth. It can also wear away protective enamel, causing tooth decay and sensitivity to hot and cold.

#5 Brushing Too Hard

Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage your enamel and lead to tooth or gum sensitivity, gum recession, and other issues.

#6 Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth

Clenching and grinding your teeth is a harmful habit that many people don’t even realize they have. Constant tooth-on-tooth pressure can wear down your teeth, cause damage to the nerve, or lead to other painful dental health issues. If you clench or grind your teeth, ask Dr. Matthews about treatment options, such as oral appliance therapy

#7 Not Brushing or Flossing Regularly

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth is essential for your mouth’s health. Not only does it help clear away plaque and bacteria, but it also protects your teeth against cavities and freshens your breath. 

We Can Help You Kick Harmful Dental Habits!

Using your teeth as a tool or indulging in bad oral health habits aren't worth the possible consequences. Not only can they result in a dental emergency, but they can also negatively impact your smile.

Please contact our Wilmington, DE dental office today to book your appointment and to learn more about how to kick bad habits, like nail-biting, teeth grinding, and smoking!

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