Taking care of your teeth is just as important as looking after other areas of your body. However, if you have habits, such as biting your nails or grinding your teeth, you may be accidentally damaging your teeth without even knowing it.
At Swinney Morton Dental in Tyler, Texas, Trey Swinney, DDS, and Kayla Morton, DDS, are proud to offer treatments, such as veneers and dental implants, to help restore your smile. However, it’s important to know what habits can damage teeth. Here are eight habits you should avoid to keep your smile healthy.
1. Using teeth for jobs they’re not meant for
Many people use their teeth as scissors or bottle openers, which can damage teeth. While it can be tempting, you should only use your teeth for their appropriate use: biting and chewing food. This will save you from developing chipped or sensitive teeth.
2. Teeth grinding
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be something you do subconsciously or even during your sleep. You can reduce your teeth grinding by finding ways to lower stress levels or attempting to become more aware of your grinding behavior. However, if your grinding continues, our team can fit you with a customized mouthguard or state-of-the-art nociceptive trigeminal inhibition tension suppression system (NTI-tss) device to help relieve your pain.
3. Using the wrong toothbrush
Brushing your teeth is an essential habit, and we recommend you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. However, using the wrong toothbrush can actually harm your teeth. You’re more likely to encounter issues if you use toothbrushes with hard bristles, as these make your teeth more sensitive and may even damage your gums.
4. Not flossing teeth correctly
We recommend you floss your teeth at least once a day. However, most people don’t know how to floss their teeth properly, which puts them at risk for teeth and gum problems. During your next preventive dental checkup, ask our team to demonstrate proper flossing techniques to avoid stuck food and bleeding gums.
5. Chewing and crunching on certain foods
While you should use your teeth for chewing, crunching on certain hard items can lead to tooth decay. Foods that cause damage to teeth include ice cubes, popcorn kernels, and other hard substances. Often, people chew these items absentmindedly and find it leads to sensitive teeth and damage. Over time, this can lead to chipped teeth or worn-down biting surfaces, requiring veneer restoration.
6. Drinking sugary drinks
Everyone knows that sugar is bad for you, but many people drink sugary sodas and juices and don’t consider the impact it has on their teeth. If you replace your sugary drinks with water, it can potentially save your teeth from decay. It’s especially important to avoid giving young children juice and sugary drinks as their teeth are still developing.
Nail biters usually get scolded for biting their nails because it ruins the look of their hands. But it also causes teeth breakage or movement. If this sounds like you, you should try to break the habit by using techniques such as bitter nail polish, distraction techniques, or even mindfulness exercises.
8. Brushing aggressively
While it’s important to brush your teeth, brushing the wrong way can actually cause damage. Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to cavities, or it may aggravate your teeth and gums. For optimal results, ask our team to show you how to brush the right way.
While you can make sure to change your habits for the future, we can help you with any existing damage to your teeth in only a couple of visits to our office. To improve your smile today, contact our friendly team at Swinney Morton Dental at (903) 597-7721 or request an appointment online.