You may not realize it, but certain bad habits can be detrimental to your dental health. While it may not seem like nail biting or chewing ice are big issues, they can have definite consequences on your smile. Breaking these habits now can prevent more damage later, as well as save you time in the orthodontist’s chair and extra expenses.
• Thumb sucking
For infants and toddlers, thumb sucking is a method of self soothing. Problems arise when children continue that habit past kindergarten. At that time, permanent teeth being to erupt and thumb sucking can affect their position, which may create orthodontic issues.
• Brushing too hard
Gum recession and loss of supporting bone can occur when you scrub your teeth in full power mode. If you aren’t sure about proper brushing techniques, ask your dentist or hygienist.
• Clenching and grinding teeth
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding and clenching is usually a subconscious response to stress. Often, people clench and grind their teeth at night time. Prolonged bruxism can result in cracked teeth, headaches, sore muscles, and limited function. Your orthodontist can fit you for a night guard to prevent bruxism.
• Chewing ice
A common habit, chewing ice, or using teeth as scissors, puts tremendous strain on your teeth and may cause fractures, cracks, or complete tooth breakage.
• Nail biting
Not only does nail biting introduce germs into your mouth, but it can also weaken tooth strength and create gaps between teeth, which may increase your odds of needing orthodontic treatment.
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