Do you find yourself unconsciously chewing your nails? When you don’t have scissors around, do you use your teeth to open objects? These habits can negatively affect your oral health. Over time, bad oral health habits can damage natural teeth. We help patients reverse their bad oral health habits in Chapel Hill, NC. Our team can also provide restorative or cosmetic care to protect damaged teeth due to these habits.
Stop Bad Oral Health Habits in Chapel Hill, NC
Avoid these common oral health habits.
Biting Your Nails
You place pressure on your teeth and jaw if you bite your nails. The friction between your teeth and nails can also wear down your natural tooth enamel. Nail biting can often lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. Stress can commonly cause bite disorders like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Patients who bite their nails often do so when anxious or stressed.
Biting your nails also introduces your mouth to harmful bacteria. Nail biting can increase the risk of pathogens like E. coli and salmonella entering the mouth.
Chewing On Ice Cubes
Crunching on ice cubes can also damage your permanent teeth and place stress on your jaw. Biting on ice and crunchy or hard foods can eventually lead to bite problems like TMD. Avoid particularly hard or chewy foods on a regular basis to decrease the risk of tooth damage and strain on your jaw muscles.
Using Teeth As Tools
Do you often use your teeth to open packages? Find scissors instead! You can damage your teeth and even break a tooth trying to open something. It may seem convenient and faster, but you can injure your permanent teeth in the long run. You never know if a hard object can crack or chip a permanent tooth.
If you brush your teeth too hard, you can wear down your teeth. Over time, as you wear down your brush bristles and teeth, you can expose dentin, the layer beneath the enamel. This layer not only discolors teeth because it is darker than the enamel, but you can also expose your tooth to harmful bacteria. If you wear your tooth down enough, you can expose your tooth’s nerves, leading to tooth sensitivity. Gently brush your teeth and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
How to Treat Damaged Teeth
Dental veneers, bonding treatment, and tooth crowns can address tooth damage. Veneers cover the front of the enamel. We typically recommend veneers if patients have discolored teeth and many worn teeth that require care. Our team can cover one or all teeth in the smile line with veneers. Tooth bonding treatment is similar to dental veneers but uses malleable materials to cover dental injuries. Dental crowns fully cover teeth like caps. We recommend crowns for patients with extensive tooth wear, especially in their molars.
Do you want to stop bad oral health habits? We’re here to help. Contact Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for care today at 919.736.6175. Feel free to request your next dental appointment with our team online.