Dentist - Liberty
115 Blue Jay Drive Suite 104
Liberty, MO 64068


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115 Blue Jay Drive
Suite 104
Liberty, MO 64068

November 01, 2012
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You use your mouth for many different things other than chewing food. People often engage in certain habits involving the mouth that are detrimental to oral health. You should be careful about bad things that you do with your teeth. Here are a few to avoid:

  1. Using teeth as tools: Many people use their teeth as tools to open bottles or a bag of chips, tear a plastic tape, rip a price tag off a piece of clothing and even on wires. Your teeth were not meant to be used like this. This can be have a traumatic effect on your teeth, causing the edge of a weakened tooth to chip off or even break. Keep the real tools like scissors or wire cutters handy and use them to do the work.

  2. Chewing ice: Many people habitually chew on ice, especially the leftover ice after they finish an ice-cold drink. The hardness and cold temperature of ice cubes can actually cause teeth to fracture. You could potentially chip off part of the enamel on a tooth or crack off a filling. Sometimes the damage is severe enough to require a root canal.

  3. Chewing hard objects: Many people chew pencils, pens and other hard objects. Your teeth were meant to chew food, not unnecessary things. Similar to chewing ice, chewing hard objects can fracture teeth, leading to unnecessary dental repairs.

  4. Sucking on lemons: If done on a regular basis, the citric acid in lemons can leach important minerals from your teeth and erode your teeth's outer surfaces, making them sensitive to cold food and drinks, and prone to chipping and cracking. This doesn't mean that you should give up on all citrus fruits and their juices. Just make sure that you aren't holding it in your mouth for prolonged period of time.

  5. Brushing too hard: People usually think that by applying more pressure while brushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush makes teeth more shiny. This is a false myth which should be avoided. When you brush too vigorously or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, it can wear away the protective enamel on your teeth. It could also lead to receding gums and increased tooth sensitivity (to cold and touch). Choose a soft brush and do gentle circular strokes for best results.

  6. Nail biting: Nail biting is not only bad for your nails, but it is also harmful to your teeth. It can cause broken or chipped front teeth, and gives an opportunity to germs and bacteria from underneath your nails to enter your mouth and cause cavities or gum infections. Nail biting is often a subconscious habit that is an expression of some deeper anxiety that gets worse at times of stress.

  7. Teeth grinding: Chronic bruxism (a.k.a teeth grinding) can lead to a variety of dental problems including excessive wear of the teeth; chipping, cracking, and fracturing of teeth and loosening of teeth. It can also cause pain in the jaw joints, headache and severe toothache. This habit often occurs at night while asleep on a subconscious level, usually in response to emotional stress. To limit the damage it can cause, your dentist may suggest you to wear a mouth guard for teeth grinding at night.

  8. Drinking white wine: Many people choose white wine over red wine as the latter can stain the teeth. But actually, white wine can cause more permanent problems because of its high acidity. This acid wears away the tooth enamel, exposing the darker layer underneath (the dentin), giving teeth a yellowed appearance and leaving them much more vulnerable to stains from any colored food or drinks consumed at the same time. For protection, rinse your mouth with water after you drink and eat some cheese with your drink to balance out the wine's acidity.

  9. Excessive soft drink consumption: Excessive consumption of sweetened carbonated soft drinks is emerging as one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay. It's not just the sugar in the soft drinks that is bad for your teeth. The acids included in the drink also contributes to the formation of cavities. Sugar-free drinks are less harmful, but they can still cause problems as they too are acidic.

  10. Sucking your thumb: Thumb sucking, one of the most common habit among children, interferes with the positioning of the upper and lower front teeth, causing the upper teeth to splay out and the lower teeth to fold back into the mouth. These changes in the bite position eventually require orthodontic treatment.

These are just a few examples of damaging habits that have an impact on your mouth. Will power on your part may help you exchange harmful habits for good dental exhibits.


Daniel Colgan

 Dr. Colgans office provides gentle, compassionate care to all of our patients at our dental practice in Liberty MO. We make your comfort and dental health our top priority.

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