Do you know someone who chews on their fingernails when they’re anxious or worried? Have you ever sat through a meal with someone who crunched on ice cubes the entire time? Maybe you have a child who plays contact sports and absolutely will not wear their mouthguard? All of these behaviors are unhealthy habits that could have unintended and unwanted consequences for your teeth and general oral health if you don’t change them.
Bruxism is a medical condition in which the patient grinds, clenches, or clamps their teeth together, and is often unaware that they are doing so. Bruxism is often triggered by anxiety, stress, abnormal alignment of the jaw, and any number of sleeping disorders. Excessive clenching of your jaw or grinding of your teeth could cause unnecessary damage as well as fractures in your teeth.
Ice is cold, hard, melty, produces a pleasant crunch, and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The gratification you get from chewing it, however, is probably not worth the damage it does to your teeth, gums, and enamel. Comparable to grinding your teeth, crunching down on ice cubes will cause excessive wear on your teeth and eventually ruin your smile.
In addition to being hard to watch and extremely unsanitary, nail-biting is also very unhealthy. Fingernails are made up of some of the strongest material on the human body, and just like ice cubes, it can cause irreparable damage to your teeth. Eventually, gnawing on your fingernails will erode the enamel on your teeth and create tiny fractures. Along with the physical harm, the germs and dirt that live underneath your fingernails can aggravate and inflame your gums and give you a nasty skin infection known as paronychia. Habitual nail biters might even cause their teeth to move around in their mouth, a problem to which braces are the usual solution.
A lot of people who play contact sports probably despise wearing mouthguards; they’re bulky and they make you drool. Ask any top athlete in any professional sport and I’m sure they will tell you the pros outweigh the cons. Basically, mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth if you get hit in the face or mouth during practice or a game. Finding a mouthguard that fits correctly and lets you speak and breathe without difficulty is vital in preventing damage to or loss of your teeth.
At McBride Dental, we want to help you and your family do everything possible to have and preserve healthy teeth and gums. By scheduling regular appointments with your California family dentist and practicing the oral care techniques we teach you, your whole family will easily maintain teeth that are healthy, strong, and effective.
The San Marcos offices of Dr. Michael McBride are staffed with professional San Diego dentists that are ready to address any concerns you may have regarding common dental procedures, as well as preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry. We also provide sedation dentistry treatments as an option for our patients with severe dental anxiety.
It is our job to help you and your family establish healthy dental habits to make sure that your teeth will always be there when you need them and your smile will always look great.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a San Marcos dentist, please give us a call at (760) 471-1003 and speak with a trained member of our dental staff today.