Dental Tips Blog

Nov
12

Three Habits That are Bad for Your Teeth

If you brush daily and don’t eat too much sugar, that’s all your smile needs…right? Not necessarily. Here are 3 habits you might not have known could be bad for your teeth:

Chewing Ice 

Ice chewing might be linked to health issues like anemia, but that isn’t the only thing that should be at the back of your mind. It can also damage your teeth.  Not only can chewing ice cause a cracked or chipped tooth, but the cold temperature can cause dental problems too. If you have existing crowns or fillings, the cold temperatures can impact the rate of how they expand/contract compared to the enamel that they’re bonded to. Frequent ice chewing may break your restorations down quicker, resulting in the need for more dental work.

Clenching Your Teeth When You’re Stressed Out 

Your teeth take the brunt of your jaw muscles’ force when you’re focused on a problem at the office or during your long commute home. You might even be waking up in the morning with a migraine headache from all the tension. This can make your teeth start to chip away, break, or just look flat.

Make a conscious effort to relax your jaw so that your teeth are slightly apart, but your lips still together.. If the tension is happening still,  talk to your dentist about getting a splint made.

Adding Cream and Sweetener to Your Coffee

Coffee might stain your teeth, but the bigger problem is those other things that you’re putting inside of it. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, and creamer don’t just add calories to your diet…they increase the acid and bacterial levels on your teeth (which can increase how many cavities you get.)

Ask your dentist how he or she can help!

Posted on behalf of:
Short Pump Family Dentistry
201 Towne Center West Blvd
Suite 709
Richmond, VA 23233
804-332-5505

Jul
18

Do You Have an Ice-Chewing Habit? Why You Need to Quit

Chewing ice. A lot of people do it, so what’s so wrong with the habit? Even if you’re not into crunching on an ice cube, you probably know someone who is.

The need to chew on ice stems from a few different possible reasons:

  • Dry mouth
  • Urge to snack while on a diet
  • Relieve stress or boredom
  • Medical condition that causes cravings for non-nutritional food

It’s even suggested that being iron-deficient could cause you to crave something like ice. But ice in itself has no nutritional value. In fact, it can be downright dangerous to your smile.

Ice-Chewing – Why So Bad?

Frozen water is a uniquely hard substance. So unique that some people are actually compelled to chew it.

The unfortunate part is that our teeth weren’t meant to handle such a tough item on a regular basis. Perhaps the occasional chomp on an ice cube from your drink won’t crack your teeth. But regular exposure to a hard substance will weaken enamel.

Over time, you could wear your enamel away and open up your teeth to a whole new host of problems such as a cavity, chipped tooth or cracked tooth.

Signs Ice-Chewing Is Harming Your Teeth

You might need to rein in an urge to chew ice if you notice:

  • Sensitivity
  • Yellow teeth
  • Worn areas around fillings
  • Broken or chipped restorations
  • Flattened chewing surfaces

All such signals indicate that your teeth’s protective enamel layer is quickly disappearing.

To get help kicking the ice-chewing habit, schedule a consultation with your dentist. He or she will help you find out if any biological factors could be playing into your urge to crunch on ice. You’ll also get an in-depth understanding into how the habit affects your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 390-8484

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