-Dr. Ng, from Nipomo Family Dentistry says there are more bad habits that affect our oral health than many know about.
Some common bad habits include:
- Chewing ice, especially ice cubes can break and crack teeth. Ice left over in the glass can be a treat on a hot day, but don’t chew it. Let it dissolve in your mouth. “We all sneak in a little crunch on ice now and then,” said Ng, “but craving ice to chew it can be a serious condition called pagophagia that is associated with iron deficiency or anemia. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about an ice-chewing habit.”
- Brushing too hard might seem like the best way to scrub away plaque, but doing so can damage gums leading to problems with teeth. Brushing for two minutes with a soft toothbrush at least twice a day is sufficient under normal circumstances.
- Between meal snacking, especially sweet or soft snacks, is an added risk for cavities from food particles. If it’s not possible to brush after snacking, drink water to help wash away food particles.
- Stress can cause people to clench their jaws, grind their teeth, or both. Not only do these habits cause joint pain, but they can also chip and crack teeth. Wearing a tooth guard at night helps cushion the teeth and practicing relaxation exercises when awake can help break the habit.
- Using teeth as tools or as a third hand to hold something or to tear something open. Teeth are not suited for this kind of use and there’s a risk of cracking or breaking a tooth or injuring the jaw. “Make sure you have the tools you need before starting a project,” said the Nipomo family dentist. “If you feel tempted to grab onto something with your teeth, stop, get the tool you need, or ask for help.”
- Nail biting is more than just an unpleasant habit. It can chip teeth and cause problems with the jaw. It’s a nervous habit known scientifically as It’s also destructive to fingernails, cuticles and fingertips and can lead to infections. Some do-it-yourself techniques to break the habit include wearing gloves, putting a bitter substance on nails and fingertips and avoiding stressful situations. Discuss the habit with a mental health professional and learn how to overcome underlying issues that may be contributing factors.
The best way to prevent bad habits is to develop good habits. “Take care of your health with a good diet, good oral hygiene habits, regular visits to the dentist, exercise, enjoy hobbies, friends and family,” said Ng.
Dr. Douglas Ng has been providing family dentistry to Nipomo and Central Coast families since 2008. Dental services include general dentistry, family dentistry, oral examinations, teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, fillings, implants and crowns.
The helpful staff at the Nipomo Family Dentistry office is committed to every patient having a beautiful, bright and healthy smile.
Nipomo Family Dentistry
195 N Thompson Ave Suite #3
Nipomo, CA 93444