Nail biting

12 Habits That Hurt Your Teeth

Did you know that some innocent-seeming habits could be hurting your teeth? We’re going to list a few habits that may seem harmless, but could be ruining your pearly whites.

1. Crunching: Crunching ice, hard candies, or anything hard can actually fracture your teeth. So try to stop chewing these damaging things and stick to carrots or apples when you need a good crunch.

2. Teeth As Tools: Do you use your teeth to open packets or rip a tag off a piece of clothing? This practice can leave your teeth weakened, chipped, or even fractured. Give your teeth a rest and grab a pair of scissors!

3. Grinding: Teeth grinding can wear down your teeth to dangerous levels. If you grind your teeth, you may want to consult with your dentist about preventative measures.

4. Brushing Wrong: If you brush too hard or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, you may be wearing down your gums. This can lead to a receding gum line and sensitive teeth. Remember brush smarter, not harder.

5. Sports: No, we aren’t going to tell you to stop playing sports. However, you should wear a mouth guard. This can prevent your teeth from getting chipped or knocked out during contact sports.

6. Bedtime Bottles: When you give your baby a bottle with milk or juice at night, you are letting the teeth soak in sugar. It’s best to keep the bottles away at bedtime.

7. Tongue/Lip Piercings: Although tongue and lip piercings may seem cool, they can hurt your teeth. Biting down on the metal can crack a tooth, and if it rubs against your gums they may become irritated. Piercings in the mouth are also prone to infection. Consult with your dentist if you are considering a tongue or lip piercing.

8. Sugar: I’m sure you’ve heard sugar is bad for your teeth. Limit the soda, candy, and other sweets!

9. Gummy Candy: Although any sugary candies are damaging to your teeth, gummy candies are especially damaging because they often get stuck in between your teeth.

10. Smoking: Cigarettes can cause stains on your teeth, but more importantly can cause gum disease. Tobacco products can also cause cancer in the mouth area. If you’re looking to quit, this is just another reason!

11. Nail Biting: Biting your nails isn’t only bad for your fingers, but also your teeth! This habit can cause chipped teeth and a protruding jaw.

12. Thumb Sucking: Almost all children suck their thumb, but it can become troublesome when the child continues this habit when permanent teeth come in. Sucking fingers can cause the teeth to become misaligned.

We hope you can use this as a learning tool and stop these tooth-damaging habits


Ice Chewing – Bad Habit or Serious Problem

Do you chew on an ice cube or two after you’ve finished off your drink? Although the blender might be a good way to crush up ice, your teeth are not. Many people chew on ice, especially during the summer months. Chewing ice includes the cubes at the bottom of your drink, but also flavored shaved ice many enjoy when it’s hot out.

But what if you can’t stop chewing ice? Ice chewing can be a serious addiction just like smoking or alcohol. Medically referred to as pagophagia, ice chewing can be the indicator of a serious health problem. Chewing ice seems like it would be harmless aside from the annoying crunching sound, but it could be a sign of iron deficiency anemia. There are over 400 types of anemia, but iron deficiency anemia is quite common. About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men suffer from iron deficiency anemia.

So why would someone who has iron deficiency anemia chew ice? Although studies are not conclusive, some have shown that the cool ice cubes can sooth the oral inflammation that sometimes results from iron deficiencies. Another reason anemic people may eat ice is because it can energize them. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which enables the body’s red blood cells to carry oxygen. Because iron deficient anemic people do not have this oxygen, they can often feel fatigued. The ice may provide a cold jolt that can push more oxygenated blood through the body, making it feel more alert and awake.

Anemia is not the only reason someone might chew ice. Although less common, some may chew due to stress, boredom, quitting cigarettes, or other reasons. Regardless of the reason, you should tell your dentist immediately if you have an ice-chewing problem. It can chip or crack your teeth, damage enamel, and cause sore jaw muscles. It may also make your teeth more sensitive and more prone to cavities.

The best treatment for chewing ice is to see a medical professional right away. If the cause is iron deficiency anemia, the craving will likely go away once your iron levels are back to normal. If the cause is due to obsessive-compulsive disorder or another non-physical reason, then cognitive behavioral therapy may be beneficial. Please seek the medical care you need right away if you think you may have iron deficiency anemia.


Pregnancy and Oral Health

Congratulations on your pregnancy. During such an exciting and busy time of your life, it can be easy to overlook your oral health, but you need to make it a priority during your pregnancy. Here’s why:

It is important to note that the calcium for your baby’s teeth does NOT come from your teeth! It is a common myth that “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.” The calcium for your baby’s teeth will come from your diet.

2. What oral changes will I experience during pregnancy?

Some women may experience pregnancy gingivitis, which is a build up of plaque that causes a mild form of gum disease. This may cause the gums to be red, tender, inflamed, and bleeding. It happens due to the increased hormones in your body throughout your pregnancy. These hormones change the way your gums react to plaque, but it is important to note that the plaque – not the hormones – cause gingivitis. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your teeth clean by regularly brushing, flossing, and eating a healthy diet.

3. Can my oral health affect my baby?

Some research shows a correlation between gum disease and premature birth. More research is needed to confirm this evidence, but some studies show that bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and trigger the production of prostaglandins, which can induce labor.

4. What’s the best way to make sure I have a healthy pregnancy?

We recommend visiting your dentist before becoming pregnant. He can make sure you are healthy and treat any existing problems you may have. During your pregnancy, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss, and use a mouthwash stamped with the ADA seal of approval. Be sure to let your dentist know what stage of pregnancy you are in when you go in for your routine appointment. We recommend visiting your dentist in the first and second trimester for cleaning.

We hope you have a healthy and happy pregnancy!