Here at Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center of Panama City, we know how important a patient’s smile can be, which is why we want to ensure your smile stays as natural and healthy as possible. Some habits like pen chewing or ice crunching have the potential to damage your teeth. To help you improve your oral health, we’ve listed several common habits and some healthier alternatives to help you maintain a beautiful, long-lasting smile.
Nail Biting – Most people know that biting nails is unsanitary and bad for nail health, but did you know that biting your nails throughout the day can cause your teeth to become misaligned, splinter, or even break completely? Chewing sugar-free gum is a better option to keep your mouth occupied and distract you from biting your nails constantly. This will not only improve your oral health but also freshen your breath! Some people find that wearing hand sanitizer or scented lotion also helps because it can help you become more aware of how often you put your hands near your face to bite.
Pen Gnawing – This habit can also cause teeth to crack, shift, and break, impairing your ability to smile and chew food properly. People tend to perform this habit absentmindedly and are unaware of the amount of pressure they are applying to their teeth when they bite down on metal or plastic. Once again, chewing gum can help distract you from biting, or if you don’t like gum, try pencil toppers or erasers to cover the metal end of your pencil.
Teeth as Tools – So many people use their teeth as tools. Have you ever needed to rip a tag off clothes but couldn’t find a pair of scissors? You probably figured using your teeth was no big deal, but teeth are not designed to undergo the stress we put on them when using them as tools. Using your teeth to open things or bite down on hard objects can cause cracked and broken teeth, which can be painful and expensive; taking a few extra minutes to find some scissors could save you a lot of discomfort and money.
Ice Crunching – Chewing ice can wear down tooth enamel, increase temperature sensitivity (hot and cold foods), and even break or fracture teeth. People with fillings should be especially careful, as the ice causes fillings to contract and potentially break. It may seem easy to crunch ice, and even soothing on a hot day, but kicking this habit will help your smile in the long run. Once again, sugar-free gum is the way to go if you are looking for something to chew on!
Your oral health will benefit greatly when you eliminate these habits from your life. If you have experienced tooth loss or damage from any of these habits (or for any other reason), please feel free to contact our office about restorative solutions. We look forward to answering any questions and will gladly schedule a consultation for you with our experienced oral surgeon.