Break Bad Dental Habits This Year!
Christine Hansen DDS, Palo Alto, CA
Chewing Your Nails
This nervous habit can chip teeth and impact your jaw. Placing your jaw in a protruding position for long periods of time can place pressure on it, which is associated with jaw dysfunction.
Solution: Stress reduction and holding something to keep your fingers busy if certain situations are triggering.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing with a hard toothbrush, or brushing too hard, can damage your teeth and irritate your gums.
Solution: Use a soft toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance at the proper pressure. Don’t think ‘scrub’ think ‘massage’.
Grinding and Clenching
Grinding and clenching cause muscle tenderness and joint pain, not to mention chipping and cracking of the teeth.
Solution: A mouthguard at night can help along with relaxation exercises and staying aware. You will have less pain, soreness and tooth damage.
Chewing Ice Cubes
Most of the time the ice will break when crushed between your teeth, but sometimes the tooth or a filling will break.
Solution: Drink chilled beverages without ice, or use a straw so you’re not tempted. The pleasure that comes from chewing ice is not as great as the risk of chewing it and breaking a tooth.
Using Your Teeth As Tools
Your teeth are not a pair of scissors, they are for eating. You put your teeth at risk for cracking or injuring your jaw when you use them as tools.
Solution: Stop and find something or someone to give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you.