Maintaining your oral health requires a conscious, dedicated effort. Brushing twice a day and flossing are two of the most important things you can do, but maintaining your oral health does not stop there. If you routinely engage in one of these bad habits, you could be doing severe harm to your oral health.
• Biting Your Nails – Nail-biting is a subconscious nervous tick, but it can prove problematic to your teeth. Nail-biting could chip your teeth, opening the door for problems like sensitive teeth or tooth decay. Additionally, nail-biting keeps your jaw in a protruding position for an extended period of time, which can lead to jaw dysfunction.
• Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth – Many people do this while sleeping, or when they are stressed. Teeth grinding can cause significant soreness and jaw discomfort, which can make it difficult to open your mouth or chew. Additionally, teeth grinding can wear down your teeth’s enamel or cause them to crack.
• Chewing Ice – If you chew on ice, you are risking severe damage to your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel protects your teeth from bacteria. Once broken, it can be difficult to repair.
• Eating Sugar – Eating sugary food is not only terrible for your health, but it’s particularly bad for your teeth. Bacteria in our mouth feed on sugar. Their byproduct eats away at tooth enamel, allowing the bacteria to enter our teeth and cause cavities.
• Brushing Too Hard – Brushing twice a day could actually do your teeth more harm than good if you are brushing too hard, or are using a toothbrush with stiff bristles. You’ll end up scratching away at your enamel and wearing away your gums. It’s estimated that as many as one in five Americans have actually harmed their teeth while brushing.