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Dental Bad Habits

Man Opens Bottle Water Using Teeth

Some Bad Habits Are Hard To Break

Often, people think of their teeth as indestructible, engaging in high-risk activities, or using them for things they just aren’t well-suited to do. Avoid these bad habits to keep teeth strong and healthy.

Using Teeth as Tools

Conventional wisdom says there’s no substitute for the correct tool. Well, teeth are not tools, nor should they be used as such! Using your teeth to open packaging is a big no-no. People will often justify the behavior by saying, “I’ve done it a hundred times!” Well, while that may be true, it only takes one instance for a tooth to fracture, resulting in an emergency trip to the dentist. Instead, use a pocket knife, scissors, or another device for cutting or opening.

Chewing Inedible Objects

Nothing will make a dentist cringe more than people unnecessarily risking the health of their teeth. Gnawing on inedible objects such as pens or pencils, fingernails, or other hard items should definitely be avoided. If you need to relieve your mouth stress, consider chewing sugarless gum instead.

Crunching Hard Foods? Bad Habits!

While some foods are technically “edible,” they can be hard as a rock (and thus equally hard on teeth). Avoid chewing ice or crunching other hard substances such as candy.

Clenching or Grinding

Grinding your teeth, known as bruxism, can be extremely destructive to tooth enamel. Often done absentmindedly or subconsciously at night, the condition may worsen during times of elevated stress. If we notice signs of enamel loss, we may recommend a nightguard to protect your teeth.

Not Wearing a Mouthguard

Whenever engaging in contact sports, you should always be wearing a molded mouthguard. Some sports such as football have it mended into the rules that mouthguards are required. But damaging contact can just as likely occur in other sports and high-risk activities, so we dentists always recommend mouthguards to protect teeth. Players often cite comfort as their primary reason for going guardless, and while it may seem burdensome at first, you will soon become accustomed to the feel.

About Dr. Sean Moran

Dr. Moran is a San Francisco native. He received his undergraduate degree at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He also received his DDS degree from Creighton University School of Dentistry in 1988 at which time he began practicing general dentistry in San Francisco.

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