There are several everyday habits that can damage our teeth. We know that overconsumption of sugar, poor brushing/flossing habits, and drinking too little water can cause tooth decay. But there are other things that can harm our teeth, a few of which may or may not seem obvious.

Everyone knows someone who bites his or her nails. It’s a nervous habit that can have unfortunate consequences on mouth health. The tips of our nails are hard enough to chip teeth, and the force of biting down could have a negative impact on the jaw. Also, because a nail biter must protrude his or her jaw to be able to bite the nail, and for a prolonged period, a person could develop jaw dysfunction. Because nail biting is a nervous habit, and oftentimes the habit can become so ingrained that a person may not realize when they do it. So, if you or someone you love does have a nail-biting habit, there are stress-relieving tactics and even bitter-tasting nail polishes to help.

It’s always best practice to brush the teeth twice daily and to floss at least once. But did you know that it is possible to do progressive damage to the teeth and gum line with a toothbrush. It is possible to brush too firmly with a toothbrush. First, remember to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. And when you use the toothbrush, try to remember to use a pressure that you would associate with a gentle massage; oftentimes, we may think it best to scrub the teeth, but a scrubbing motion, something similar to cleaning the kitchen counter, is much too firm for sensitive teeth.

Remember to limit snacks. And when you do snack, remember that it’s unhealthy for our teeth when we snack continuously. When you eat all day, it puts your teeth at a higher risk for cavities. Bacteria feast on the sugars in our mouth, and when they consume those sugars they produce an acid that attacks and breaks down the outer surface of the tooth. So, try to remember to limit snacks, and when you do snack, remember to drink clear water so that teeth are washed clean of sugars and food debris.

There are certain habits that are very important to keep. Remember to brush twice daily and to brush for two minutes (gently and with a soft-bristled brush), and to keep to a schedule of twice-yearly visits with your dentist at Premier Smile.