How Bad Habits Affect Your Teeth

Young women coving her mouth with her hands looking fearful
Fear of the dentist is common, but sedation dentistry can help ease the fear and worry.

Our goal at Dental Partners of Boston is to not just assist in improving your dental health but also to help you prevent problems from ever arising. One of the bigger issues our patients run into is their bad habits. Simple everyday things that many people do subconsciously can weaken the enamel on your teeth.

Enamel has the impressive title of being the hardest substance in the human body. Despite this beneficial trait, enamel can chip quite easily, putting your dental health and well-being at risk. Despite seeming quite harmless, over time these habits can do a significant amount of damage to your smile. Of course, if a chipped tooth or other item arises that requires an emergency dental appointment we are here to help! Here are a few habits to be aware of that can cause complications with your dental health:

Nail Biting

Biting nails is often associated with nervousness or anxiety. There are many reasons to avoid and break this habit. For dental purposes, the repeated pressure from nail-biting causes the enamel on the front teeth to weaken and fracture. The pressure of repeatedly biting a surface as hard as your nails can also increase the risk of tooth resorption, causing the roots of your teeth to shorten and eventually resulting in tooth loss.

Your Teeth Are Not Tools

Many people, especially small children, use their teeth like their pliers or scissors, cutting or ripping into packaging.  Doing so can lead to fractured or broken teeth and even tooth loss. A common side effect of broken enamel is tooth decay and cavities. It can be tempting to use your teeth when a proper tool isn’t nearby, however, we encourage you to make the effort to do whatever it takes to break this habit.

Chewing On Pens And Pencils

Your jaw is capable of applying immense pressure to your teeth, far more than most people realize. People that tend to chew on pens usually do so while thinking or working and don’t realize they’re chewing on the pen or how hard they chew on it. When chewing on hard items like a pen, the molars are often used. Molars are generally where people most often get fillings or crowns to repair damaged teeth or dental restorations. Chewing on pens significantly increases the chance of damage not just your teeth but also the comparatively fragile restorations.

Chewing Ice

Since the ice maker became commonplace in the home, chewing ice has been a popular thing to do. Some people chew ice regularly as a simple habit and others chew ice as a way to control their appetite and lose weight. Regardless of why you chew ice, it’s important that you stop. The hardness and cold temperature of ice don’t just damage the enamel, it can chip the tooth itself.

Emergency Dental Work In Boston

Whether your teeth have been damaged by one of these common habits or something completely different, Dental Partners of Boston is equipped to handle excellent emergency dental care. Schedule an appointment with us today if you have a dental emergency or would like to schedule a regular dental visit for the Boston area. Your dental health and well-being are our top priority!

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