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Bad Dental Habits to Avoid

Closeup of a woman biting her nails

Although your teeth are very strong, they’re not unbreakable. Bad dental habits like biting your nails and chewing ice can weaken and even crack your teeth! Here’s why these and other dental habits are bad for your oral health:

  1. Nail Biting
  2. If you bite your nails, you spread germs from your hands to your mouth. Your teeth can also shift or chip since biting puts excessive pressure on the same teeth over and over again. Your jaw can start hurting, as well. To break this habit, try wearing a bitter-tasting nail polish specifically designed to help people stop biting their nails.

  3. Chewing Ice
  4. Do you like chewing on the ice from a cold drink? Ice is very hard and can create small fractures in your teeth. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to chips and cavities. Instead of chewing on ice, let the cubes melt in your cup or your mouth.

  5. Opening Things with Your Teeth
  6. Using your teeth for anything other than eating is a bad idea. That includes opening packages, envelopes, tape, or bottles. You risk chipping or cracking them any time you use them this way. Instead of your teeth, use appropriate tools like scissors, letter openers, bottle openers, and so on.

  7. Chewing on Pencils or Pens
  8. You may absentmindedly chew on your pencils or pens. Even if this habit helps you concentrate, you risk fracturing or chipping a tooth every time you bite down. The repetitive biting is like tooth-grinding, which can aggravate TMJ dysfunction and other dental issues. Break the habit by chewing sugar-free gum or painting bitter-tasting nail polish on the top of your pen or pencil.

  9. Not Wearing a Mouthguard When Playing Sports
  10. Wearing a custom athletic mouthguard from your dentist can help protect your smile from lip lacerations and chipped, broken, and knocked-out teeth during contact sports. A mouthguard should be worn when playing basketball, hockey, football, or any other sport where there might be physical contact between you and the ground, other participants, or equipment.

Emergency Dental Care at CarolinasDentist

Bad habits like nail biting and chewing ice can lead to dental emergencies like fractures and breaks. Our CarolinasDentist locations offer same-day emergency care so if you or a family member needs urgent help, don’t hesitate to call us!

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