Do you sometimes find yourself chewing ice, biting your nails, or even brushing your teeth too hard? Patient health and safety is our priority here at Dr. Mark S. Jefferies’ Herndon, VA dental office. We understand how important it is to build good oral health habits and to educate our patients about the bad habits that can lead to broken teeth. These habits can also lead to problems like swollen gums, bleeding gums, or even cracked teeth. Let’s talk about how to break these bad oral health habits and preserve your smile.

1. Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Our teeth are strong — the strongest tissue in the body — but remember that the gums are more sensitive and should be treated gently.  Prolonged forceful brushing may cause bleeding or swollen gums, which can lead to receding gum line as well as damaging tooth enamel. Using an ADA-approved soft bristle toothbrush with an ADA-approved toothpaste will help keep your gums healthy.

2. Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit that many people don’t realize they have or how bad for their teeth it can be. Biting on your nails can cause stress on the jaw and may chip your teeth, depending on the pressure used and whether your teeth are already fragile due to an underlying condition. When you bite your nails, your jaw protrudes at an unnatural angle which may cause headaches and discomfort. Many patients bite their nails from stress, so alleviating the stress can help your avoid the habit altogether.

3. Chewing Ice Cubes or Hard Objects

Did you know that even though ice melts pretty quickly, it can still crack and break teeth if chewed? A broken tooth is even more likely to occur if you have a filling or a crown because the structure of the tooth has already been compromised and is not designed to crush extremely hard substances like ice. Also be careful of chewing hard candies or mints and allow them to melt in your mouth instead to make them smaller. You can avoid tooth sensitivity and tooth fracture by avoiding chewing on ice.

Family Dentist in Herndon, VA

You can schedule your dental appointment with our team online today or call our office at (703) 570-1152. We are looking forward to providing preventative dentistry for your whole family!

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