Last week we discussed bad habits which damage teeth and oral health in the light of food and nutrition. This week we focus on stress, lifestyle and a couple other common habits.
Stress / Nervous Habits
- Chewing Ice – Chewing ice can crack or chip your teeth. It may also irritate the soft tissues around the gum line. A good alternative would be to find a good sugarless gum.
- Bruxing/Grinding Teeth – Grinding your teeth, whether a nervous habit during the day or a subconscious one at night, can wear away at your teeth and can change your bite. Consider finding a way to reduce stress in your life, or talk to your dentist about other causes. Also consider purchasing a custom mouth guard.
- Nervous Chewing – Chewing on non-food items also cause undue wear on your teeth. Items like pencils and pens are hard and can crack or chip your teeth.
- Tobacco – Many people smoke or use tobacco products to reduce stress, but tobacco can cause gum disease or cancers of the lips, mouth and tongue.
- Playing Sports without a Mouth Guard – The purpose of a mouth guard is to protect your teeth from strong impact or trauma when playing aggressive sports. If a mouth guard is uncomfortable, consider seeing your dentist for custom mouth guards made just for you.
- Tongue or Other Oral Piercings – They might be unique, but having that metal clanking around against your teeth and gums can cause your teeth to crack or chip and your gums to become irritated.
- Opening Things with your Teeth – Using your teeth for things other than chewing food can lead to tooth damage, especially when it comes to metal bottle caps. Use scissors or a bottle opener.
Learning to recognize and address these bad habits which damage teeth and oral health can help you address them head-on. Protecting your teeth is important to your total well-being.