Chewing on Ice: It is a common habit to chew on ice after enjoying a cold beverage. It may seem harmless, but chewing on ice can inflict a significant amount of damage to the teeth. Chipping or cracking the teeth is a common consequence of ice chewing. It only takes one wrong bite to break one of the molars, resulting in intense pain and an emergency dental visit.
Biting Nails: Nail biting is often a nervous or mindless habit that many individuals develop. This tendency can be harmful for a variety of reasons. Not only is nail chewing a perfect opportunity to put harmful germs in your mouth, but it also puts you at risk for chipping teeth. If you are a regular nail-biter, your teeth can shift due to the consistent pressure put on the same teeth. Additionally, the jaw can develop a TMJ disorder from the excess strain being put on it.
Brushing too Hard: Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. However, brushing with the proper technique is just as crucial. Brushing too hard can wear down the tooth enamel, and make the teeth more susceptible to decay, damage, and sensitivity. Aggressive brushing can also provoke gum recession, which can cause discomfort, bone destruction, and even tooth loss.
Using Teeth as Tools: Teeth are not tools! They are meant for chewing, speaking, and smiling, not opening bottles, tearing packages, or carrying objects. Using your teeth for any of these activities can put you at risk for permanent tooth or jaw damage. It may seem easier to just use your teeth, rather than just take the time to find scissors to open a package, but the risk is simply not worth it.
Snacking: Constantly eating throughout the day is not good for your teeth, especially if you are snacking on foods or drinks with high sugar contents. Frequently having food particles on the teeth puts you at a higher risk of cavities because the bacteria will eat these particles and produce an acid that attacks the tooth’s enamel.
Clenching and Grinding Teeth: Teeth grinding or clenching can cause the teeth to chip, crack, and wear down faster than normal. This tendency can also damage the jaw joints, potentially causing a TMJ disorder. Teeth grinding at night can be harder to identify, but if you are waking up with a sore jaw or are experiencing tension headaches, you may be grinding your teeth.