Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, seeing the dentist for regular exams and cleanings every 6 months—these are all good dental habits to have for better dental and oral health. But it’s important to remember that there are such thing as bad habits too, especially with dental health. Not sure if you have a bad dental habit? If you do one of the following, you should break the habit today:
1. Bite your nails.
Nail biting is one of the most common dental habits among patients. Known to be a “nervous habit,” nail biting may seem comforting in times of anxiety or stress, but can actually be detrimental to your dental health over time. When you bite your nails, you actually put your teeth through more stress than they need to be in, which can cause chips. In addition, when you bite your nails, your jaw ends up protruding—a position it would need to be in to have better access to your nails. As a result, you put extra pressure on your jaw as well, which can lead to jaw dysfunction. Ready to dump this dental habit? Try keeping your hands busy when you feel like you’re in a stressful situation, or using other methods to reduce anxiety!
2. Crew crushed ice.
While crushed ice may seem to be a refreshing treat, it’s actually bad for your dental health. The cold temperature and brittle nature of ice can cause small fractures in the surface of your teeth, which can eventually lead to larger cracks over time. Chewing on ice can be tempting, so to avoid it, only drink chilled drinks without ice, or use a straw.
3. Brush your teeth too hard.
Many patients believe that the harder you brush your teeth, the more plaque and surface stains you’re able to remove. However, brushing your teeth harder can actually cause more harm than help. By brushing too hard, you can damage your teeth by wearing down your enamel, and even irritate your gums. Instead, brush your teeth with a gentle pressure. Also, make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth. Your teeth will thank you!
By breaking these bad dental habits, you can instantly have better dental health because of it!