Keeping your teeth healthy may be one of your primary goals. However, it's easy to unknowingly sabotage your oral health.
Here are a few habits that can wreak havoc with your teeth.
Biting Your Nails
Many people consider their fingernails to be relatively soft, so they may not see the harm in nibbling on their nails to alleviate stress. The fingernails may not be as hard as ice chips or rock candy, but they can still damage the teeth if enough bite pressure is used during the biting process. Additionally, thin slivers of the jagged nails can become trapped between the teeth or underneath the gums.
If the nails remain between the teeth or under the gums for an extended period, they may cause an oral infection that can spread to the bone of the jaw. Once the jawbone becomes infected, the tissue may atrophy, offering insufficient support to the teeth, which may loosen or even fall out.
Additionally, trapped fingernails provide an additional surface area on which plaque can rest, increasing the likelihood of tooth decay.
Forgetting to Wear Your Nightguard
If you suffer from bruxism, your dentist may have already prescribed a nightguard. The device is used to lessen the pressure that is applied to the teeth during episodes of dental grinding. Without a guard in place to absorb some of the bite force, the pressure can be extensive enough to cause the tooth material to break or crack.
People with bruxism should wear a mouthguard nightly, even if they believe that they no longer grind their teeth. The grinding often takes place as a person sleeps and is unaware that the action is occurring.
Brushing Your Teeth After Consuming Acidic Foods or Drinks
Foods and beverages that have a low pH can demineralize the teeth as significantly as bacterial acids. Thus, after eating or drinking citrus items, sodas, or other acidic substances, many people feel that they should immediately brush their teeth. However, after being subjected to acidic substances for a prolonged period, the tooth material remains in a softened state for about a half-hour. If the teeth are brushed while they are still in a softened condition, enamel erosion may occur.
Once the enamel has been brushed away, it does not regenerate. Eventually, if enough enamel is eroded, the dentin layer is exposed. leading to dental sensitivity, discoloration, and other issues.
To learn more ways to protect your teeth, contact a dental company such as Thornley Dental.