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Kick These Bad Habits For A Healthier Smile

It is a brand new year! If you haven’t start your new year’s resolution yet, now is a great time to start! Happy Smiles in Kansas City has compiled a list of habits you can kick in 2016 to get a healthier smile.

Nail Biting

nail biting kansas city

Do you ever find yourself biting your nails when you are nervous or you don’t have nail clippers on hand and your nails are just bothering you? Nail biting is a nasty habit that can cause your teeth to chip and jaw irritation and dysfunction. If you can pinpoint what situations trigger this nervous habit you can set small realistic goals to help you curb it.  We found that applying bitter-tasting nail polish on your nails can help deter you from biting.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

When you grind your teeth together or clench your jaw tight you may start to feel pain as you chew and your mouth may not open as wide as it used to. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause your teeth to chip and crack as well as tenderness in your jaw muscles and joint pain.  Wearing a nighttime mouth guard can help keep you from grinding your teeth and simple relaxation exercises can make a difference.

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing your teeth too hard can damage your teeth and cause your gums to bleed and recede. If you find yourself brushing to hard try switching to a soft toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. A great way to get in the habit of softer brushing is to slow down and take your time, brushing your teeth is not a race.  You can also think of brushing your teeth as giving your teeth a massage.

Eating Ice Cubes

Ice is a crystal and tooth enamel is a crystal, when you grind the two against each other, one of them is certain to break. 90% of the time it is going to be the ice that breaks, but on occasion it will be your tooth or filling.  Chewing ice can also cause pain because of the freezing texture.  Try to drink chilled beverages without the ice, or use a straw. You can also purchase reusable ice cubes to avoid the temptation of chewing.

Treating Your Teeth Like Tools

We have all been guilty of it at some point. Can’t get that plastic wrap off a new movie with your fingers? Don’t have any scissors to cut that string? We use our teeth right? When you use your teeth as tools you are putting in danger. Your teeth are meant to chew food and will eventually start to break down from grinding against hard surfaces.  While there really isn’t one simple solution to curbing this habit, it helps to stay aware of what you put in your mouth.

Looking for other tips on how you can curb other bad dental habits? Contact Happy Smiles in Kansas City today! Our dentists are more than happy to answer any of your questions.  Happy Smiles is putting Kansas City on the path to healthier smiles ever day!

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