6 Worst Habits For Your Smile

Posted by Dr. Paul Esteso Jan 29, 2023

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Good oral habits, like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing can keep you from developing tooth decay and cavities. On the other hand, some habits can damage your oral health. Here are a few habits that can damage your smile.

Nail Biting

Habitually gnawing on fingernails can cause your teeth to chip, break, and crack. Plus, your nails are a great place for bacteria and germs to hide. As you bite down, you open your mouth to millions of these harmful pathogens. If you have the habit, quit it at the earliest! If you can't do it on your own, talk to your dentist about other treatment options that may help.

Using Teeth As Tools

Other bad habits that can affect our oral health include using teeth as tools! People commonly use their teeth to tear open packages of things (especially children), rip tags off of clothing, and bite or chew on objects like ice. This can cause tooth damage over time in the form of cracks or chips in the enamel of the tooth. In addition, this habit can wreak havoc on your braces or other appliances since they can scratch parts of the device or cause the appliance to become loose. One way to curb this bad habit is to just avoid using your teeth as tools! 

Chewing Ice Cubes

Chewing ice cubes can damage your enamel and crack your teeth if used too frequently. The cold temperature of ice can also be harmful to your tooth nerves and cause sensitivity or pain. It can also harm your gums from cold temperatures.

Frequent Snacking

Eating throughout the day can seem pretty harmless overall, but frequent snacking can have negative effects on your oral health. First of all, when you snack frequently you are putting yourself at a greater risk for tooth decay and cavities, which means you'll have to visit your dentist for fillings more often. Frequent snacking also put your teeth under undue stress because the teeth work hard to break down the food between every bite. This strain can result in tooth erosion or enamel wear, which can weaken your teeth and make them more susceptible to damage. If your teeth are worn down already from heavy and frequent snacking, talk to your dentist about restorative dental treatments like dental crowns or dental bonding. 

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a common habit that can occur in infants and toddlers. It is a natural reflex that can actually help babies fall asleep and stay asleep. However, it is not recommended to continue thumb-sucking past the age of two because it can greatly affect the alignment of the teeth.

The continual pressure of the fingers against the front teeth can cause them to tip inward and cross each other, resulting in an overbite. This can create breathing problems as the jaw and tongue are pushed to the side, and it can hinder speech development as well.

Brushing Too Hard

We can explain to our patients that if they brush too hard or too vigorously, they run the risk of damaging and wearing down their enamel. Enamel is the protective layer of our teeth that protects them from decay and sensitivity. When our enamel wears thin, we are more susceptible to these conditions.

Also, brushing too hard can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth. Gum recession can lead to pockets between your teeth where food particles can hide, and bacteria can grow. This can result in gum disease or even tooth loss. 

Get in touch with Spectacular Smiles at 11500 State Hwy 121 Suite 820, Frisco, TX 75035, or call (214) 407-8012 for the best dental care.

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