3 Bad Oral Health Habits That Damage Teeth

family dentist columbia scTeeth are strong, but they still need to be protected so they last a lifetime. Dr. Tom Trinkner is a Columbia, SC family dentist helping patients build good oral health habits to prevent problems like swollen or bleeding gums, cracked teeth, or jaw problems. Are you guilty of any of these 3 bad oral health habits? Learn more about them and how you can improve your oral hygiene below.

Habit 1: Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit that many people don’t realize they have. It can cause stress on the jaw and may chip the teeth, depending on the pressure used and whether your teeth are already fragile due to an underlying condition. When you bite your nails, you protrude your jaw at an unnatural angle which may cause headaches and discomfort. Many patients bite their nails from stress, so addressing the stress can help avoid the habit.

Habit 2: Chewing Ice Cubes or Hard Objects

Did you know that even though ice melts pretty quickly, it can still crack and break teeth if chewed? A broken tooth is even more likely if you have a filling or a crown because the tooth has already been compromised and is not designed to handle extreme force like ice. Also be careful of chewing hard candies or mints and allow them to melt in your mouth instead of chewing on them to make them smaller. You can avoid tooth sensitivity and tooth fracture by avoiding chewing on ice.

Habit 3: Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Teeth are strong, but remember that the gums are more sensitive and should be treated gently. Prolonged forceful brushing may cause bleeding or swollen gums, which may lead you to suspect you have gum disease when it’s just from brushing too hard. This can also lead to receding gum line. Use an ADA-approved soft bristle toothbrush with an ADA-approved toothpaste to keep your gums healthy.

Columbia, SC Dentist

If you find that your habits are leading to tooth damage, or you have other pressing dental concerns, contact us by calling 803-400-8729. You may also schedule an appointment with our team online.