Several habits are good for your teeth such as brushing and flossing every day and visiting your dentist regularly. But there are also some habits you may be guilty of that aren’t so good for your teeth. What’s even worse is that you may not even be aware that you’re doing them.

In today’s blog from James W. Mellert DDS and Associates, we want to discuss the most common habits that could be hurting your teeth. Keep reading, and if you’re looking for a dentist in Torrance, please give us a call!

Nail Biting

Nail-biting is a compulsive habit that is bad for your health as well as your teeth. When you bite your nails, germs can spread from your fingers to your mouth, plus it can cause serious damage to your teeth. Most people don’t even realize that they’re doing it, but biting your nails can chip teeth and even cause jaw dysfunction.

Nail-biting tends to be worse during times of stress, so try using stress reduction techniques to stop this bad habit. You can also buy bitter-tasting nail polish that’s meant to stop nail-biting, or put on a pair of gloves or even hold onto something that will keep your fingers busy and distract you from biting them.

Chewing On Ice

Another bad habit that you may not be aware of is chewing on ice. Although the extra water is good for your body, chewing on ice to get it can wreak havoc on your teeth. The cold hard texture of ice can easily crack or chip a tooth or any dental work such as a filling or crown that resides in your mouth.

Try to break yourself of this bad habit and replace it with one that’s much better for you — drinking water throughout the day. Not only will it help you stay hydrated, sipping water between meals helps to keep your mouth clean and flush out sugar and food particles so they don’t stay on your teeth.

Using Your Teeth as a Tool

How many times have you used your teeth to open up a package, remove a clothing tag, or cut tape? There are endless ways in which we use our teeth as a tool, and just about everyone one of them can result in damage. Avoid fracturing or chipping your teeth by breaking yourself of this bad habit. Instead, keep a small pair of scissors with you, get help from the biggest, strongest person you know, or just be patient until you have the right tool for the job.

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the best habits you can have to maintain a healthy smile. However, just because moderate brushing is good, doesn’t mean that more is necessarily better. For instance, some people use too much pressure when brushing their teeth. Over time, brushing too hard can result in worn enamel and receding gums. Likewise, you can also overdo it on the frequency of brushing. If you had a particularly sugary dessert after your lunch, feel free to do a midday cleaning, but brushing your teeth every other hour will also result in worn enamel and other potential problems. Try sticking with brushing your teeth twice a day and use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Continuously Sipping Sugary Drinks

Some days you may feel like you need a little extra sugar and caffeine to get through your day, but if you’re sipping on sodas, sugar-laden coffees, and energy drinks nonstop most days of the week, your teeth are going to pay for it. The sugar in these drinks will sit on your teeth all day, providing a feast for cavity-causing bacteria. Plus, most carbonated drinks contain an acid that eats away at the enamel.

Try to skip drinking anything except for water between meals, but if you must have a little something to help you make it until quitting time, try to either brush your teeth afterward or drink some water to help wash the sugar and acid away.

Keep Your Smile Looking Great By Making an Appointment Today

With greater awareness and a few simple lifestyle changes, you can help your teeth to stay strong and healthy for many years to come. That is, provided that you’re keeping up with your regularly scheduled dental checkups and cleanings. If you’re looking for a dentist in Torrance, we invite you to take a look at James W. Mellert DDS and Associates. We offer a full range of dental services ranging from general and preventive dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, emergency dental services, and more.

Visit our website to learn more about our full range of services and then contact us if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment.