Did you know you could be damaging your teeth without even knowing it? Everyday habits that seem innocent may actually be wrecking havoc on your mouth. Here are the worst offenders and how to avoid them.
- Using teeth as a tool. We’re all guilty of prying packaging or ripping tags off with our teeth, but that needs to stop! Instead, use an actual tool, like scissors, or invest in a small multi-tool key chain so you’re always prepared.
- Nail biting. Biting your nails is unhygienic and puts you at risk of catching illnesses, and can also permanently damage the nail. Furthermore, just like using your teeth as a tool, it can do damage to your teeth. Try kicking the habit by getting a manicure.
- Chewing ice. While it may feel refreshing, chewing ice puts a of unnecessary pressure on your teeth. If you really must chew something, try sugar-free gum. And if you have persistent urges, talk to your doctor. Studies show iron deficiency anemia may make people more likely to chew ice.
- Using toothpicks incorrectly. Frequent and overly aggressive use of toothpicks can damage teeth and gums. If you do have an annoying piece of food stuck in your teeth, dentists agree it’s okay to use toothpicks sparingly and gently, but flossing and brushing are preferable.