Even as adults, during times of stress, many people may revert to bad habits that are bad for their teeth. Chewing ice, nail-biting, and brushing teeth too hard are common patterns of behavior that many patients face. At Morristown Cosmetic Dentistry, patient health is at the forefront for Dr. Victor Gittleman and his Morristown, NJ dental team. We want to review why common habits are bad for teeth and why it is important to correct these behaviors. Learn more below:
Bad Tooth Habits
Brushing Your Teeth Forcefully
Treat your gums and teeth gently. Do not brush too hard. It may cause bleeding gums or swelling. Prolonged forceful brushing may also lead to a receding gum line. Make sure you brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Most ADA-certified toothbrushes will be labeled as soft. Treat brushing like a gentle massage for your teeth and gums. Remember to brush at a 45-degree angle to ensure you reach all sides of your teeth.
Chewing ice cubes can crack or break your teeth. If you have a dental filling or dental crown, chewing ice is definitely not a good idea. Crowns and fillings are more prone to cracking or falling out when met with the force of hard ice. If you have sensitive teeth, chewing ice can also be painful and irritating. You may also want to use a reusable straw to drink iced beverages if you have sensitive teeth.
Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails can cause stress on your jaw and may even chip your teeth. When you bite your nails, your jaw protrudes at an unnatural angle for a prolonged time. This stress on the jaw can cause headaches and general jaw discomfort. If you bite your nails due to stress, try to keep your hands occupied during times of anxiety or stress.