Do you bite your fingernails? Do you chew on pen caps? While it’s true everyone has a bad habit, some common habits can seriously affect your oral health over time. In severe cases, bad dental habits may fracture or severely injure your teeth. Our team at Syosset Dental and our compassionate dentist, Dr. Richard Kobak discuss how bad dental habits affect our patients’ oral health.
Using Abrasive Toothpastes
Many whitening and anti-tartar toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients. In fact, whitening toothpastes don’t actually whiten your teeth; they only clean surface stains by using abrasive agents. If you use abrasive toothpastes daily, you can damage your tooth enamel and expose the soft, dentin layer to harmful bacteria in your mouth. In most cases, simple toothpastes approved by the ADA are best for daily use.
Biting Your Fingernails
Chewing or biting on fingernails is a common nervous habit among many people. You may be unaware how this habit affects your oral health. Think about everything your hands touch in a day’s time. From doorknobs to the copier at your office, your hands come in contact with many types of bacteria throughout the day. If you happen to bite your fingernails, you could potentially transfer bacteria from your hands to your mouth.
Chewing on Pen Caps
Unfortunately, many people chew on pen caps and other hard objects such as ice cubes. Although your teeth are very strong, habitually chewing on hard objects can wear down tooth enamel. Over time, chewing on hard objects creates small cracks in tooth enamel. Damaged tooth enamel leaves the interior structures of your teeth vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria. Additionally, this habit may also fracture or chip your teeth.
Because Dr. Kobak and our team genuinely care about the oral health of our patients, we encourage you to break any bad dental habits you may have. For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact our Syosset dentist office at (516) 433-2211. We serve patients from Suffolk, Nassau, Long Island, and the surrounding New York City communities.