Many people may revert to bad oral health habits when they feel bored or stressed. Chewing ice, nail-biting, and brushing teeth aggressively are common patterns of behavior that many patients face. We want to review why these habits are bad for teeth and why it is important to correct these behaviors before you damage your teeth and gums. If you have sustained tooth and gum damage from bad oral health habits, call (410) 415-9013 or request a consultation with Dr. Ray Becker on our website. Dr. Becker is a Columbia, MD dentist that is passionate about helping patients maintain their oral health and prevent further dental problems.
Common Bad Oral Health Habits
Biting your nails frequently can cause continuous stress on your jaw and, in some cases, may even chip or crack one or more teeth. When you bite your nails, your jaw is protruded at an unnatural angle for a prolonged time. This position can also stress the jaw joints and muscles in the jaw. If you bite your nails due to boredom or stress, try to keep your hands occupied or apply a special polish to your nails to deter you from biting your nails.
Like nail-biting, chewing ice cubes can crack or break your teeth. Chewing ice is a terrible idea for any patient, especially if you have a dental filling or dental crown. Crowns, fillings, and other dental restorations are more prone to cracking or falling out if you chew hard things like ice. Chewing ice can also be painful and irritating to patients with sensitive teeth.
Brushing Teeth Aggressively
Brushing or flossing your teeth too hard can cause bleeding and swelling gums. If you forcefully brush your teeth, this can lead to a receding gum line. Make sure that you are brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to ensure you reach all sides of your teeth. Many ADA-approved brushes will be labeled as soft so you know which one to buy. Brush gently and thoroughly, but not roughly. Brushing the right way will help to prevent future gum problems.