Scottsdale Dentist: 5 Harmful Teeth Habits

Teeth are one of the most useful parts of our body – for smiling, chewing food, talking, and more. However, there are habits that may be harmful for you teeth. If you have one of the following 5 habits – you might be doing considerable damage to your smile.

  1. Nail BitingHaving the habit of biting your nails can chip and wear your teeth over time. The keratin, responsible for making your nails hard and protective, is not a harmonious match with our teeth. Both the dentin your teeth are made of and the keratin in your nails are considerably strong and hard materials. Your teeth may show signs of wear and tear if you consistently bite your nails, especially in your smile teeth.
  2. Clenching & Grinding
    It can be daunting to hear again and again that you might be clenching and grinding, however, its one of the number one reasons that teeth wear down! The strong, uneven forces from grinding and the powerful force from clenching are enough to do serious damage over time! Have you ever heard that if your brain wasn’t controlling your bite, you could bite someone’s finger off like a carrot? It’s true, your bite has crazy strength, be careful with your habit(s) of clenching a grinding! Check out our blog on Clenching and Grinding here:
  3. Sugary Drinks
    The longer sugar sits on your teeth, the longer is has an opportunity to chemically react with your biofilm to produce the bad bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Wait, what? Sugar, when combined with naturally occurring film along your teeth and gums, is scientifically known as the most dangerous molecule that we consume every day. It’s so dangerous because it actually attacks your enamel and dentin, slowly degrading its way into the pulp – where the lifeline of your tooth resides. Once in the pulp, your tooth may not be save-able. It’s nearly impossible to cut out sugar from your drinks, especially your morning coffee, but make sure that if you’re sipping on your drink for a long period of time, the sugar has had the time to do damaging things to your teeth. Try to brush and floss your teeth a few times if you sip on a sugary beverage throughout a typical day. Also, after a sugary drink, brush and floss, or if you’re on the go, rinse with mouthwash, to help combat the chemical reactions of sugar and biofilm.
  4. Chewing Ice Cubes
    Chewing ice cubes is a hard habit to break, especially when it “tastes so good!” Chewing ice cubes is one of the worst snacks for your teeth because of the hardness and rigidity of the typical ice cube. You never know how it is going to break because the frozen H2O molecules inside are so tightly packed together, there are millions of ways that it could break from bite force. Because of this, your biting is probably rigid and uneven, making unusual and sharp forces reign down (or up) on your innocent teeth. The best advice is to try and chew gum or possibly, increase your uptake in Iron if you’re having ice “cravings.” If you crave ice, here’s a quick article on why that might be:
  5. Replacing Tools 
    Remember: your teeth are NOT tools! Opening bottles, lids, gifts, whatever it may be, is harmful for your teeth. The forces placed on your teeth from using them as tools often cause fractures, chips, and later pain! Take the time to grab whatever tool is meant for your project – your teeth cannot serve as a tool belt!