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Break Bad Habits, Not Teeth

Posted January 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

Our Costa Mesa dentists have compiled a list of some common bad habits and some suggestions on how you can break them.

Brushing Too Hard

Getting into the habit of brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the best habits you can start. On the other hand, if you brush too hard, you run the risk of irritating your gums and damaging your teeth. Continuously brushing hard could take off the enamel surrounding your teeth and expose your sensitive, yellowish dentin that is below.

While brushing is important, remember to massage your teeth rather than roughly scrubbing. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should use a small soft bristle toothbrush to help reduce hard brushing.


The habit of nail biting can lead you to chip a tooth or cause jaw pain. Nail-biting also introduces the bacteria and germs that are on your nails to your mouth. Chronic nail-biting can cause your teeth to shift and become crooked. This will lead to the need for correction with Invisalign.

To discourage this habit, you can purchase bad tasting nail polish to paint your nails. When you put your nails in your mouth, the taste will be a reminder to discontinue this bad habit. The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJODO) conducted a study and found that nail-biting can be caused by stress and emotional imbalance. Finding a healthy way to relax should help reduce the urge to bite your nails as well.

Grinding and Clenching

Stress can cause you to start some harmful habits such as grinding your teeth or clenching jaw. These habits can lead to damaged teeth and/or jaw pain. If you start experiencing pain from teeth grinding or clenching, it is vital that you visit your dentist.

Using a specially made nightguard can relieve pain and reduce the effects of this habit. Your dentist can make a custom nightguard for you and walk you through different treatment options. Call (714) 545-0484 to schedule an appointment to see if a custom nightguard is right for you.

Using Your Teeth As Tools

Using your teeth as a tool to open up a package or take off a plastic tag seems harmless, but it puts your mouth at risk of damage. The plastic or material you are placing in your mouth can cut your gums or cause you to break a tooth.

Scissors and other tools can be used instead of your teeth to reduce harm.

Chewing Ice Cubes

Chewing on ice cubes can break a tooth or pop-off a filling from one of your molars. The structure of ice cube molecules are similar to that of your teeth which means that it is more likely to break something off your smile. The medical term for extreme cases and addiction to chewing on ice cubes is called pagophagia. Patients who suffer from this have a higher risk of dental damage, especially to crowns and fillings.

Dental care is essential if you are currently trying to kick the habit of ice-chewing or you are suffering from the repercussions. Call OC Healthy Smiles at (714) 294-2229 before the symptoms become too severe.

Oc Healthy Smiles

1202 Bristol St #140
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 422-0596

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