Biting Nails and Other Bad Habits

Posted .

Teeth are made of tough materials, designed for biting and chewing food. Unfortunately, many people often attempt to use teeth for other things, such as biting fingernails, chewing on ice, or using teeth in place of scissors or other tools. Here are some bad habits that can do damage to your teeth, as well as some suggestions for how to break those habits.

Putting your jaw in a protruding position frequently can put an inordinate amount of pressure on your temporomandibular joint. Biting your fingernails also puts you at risk of chipping or cracking teeth. Try using bitter-tasting nail polish, or reducing your overall stress levels. If certain situations are triggers for you, find something to do with your hands during those times.

Tooth enamel and ice are both made of crystals. If you press two crystals together with enough force, one of them will break. In this case, it is usually the ice, but occasionally it is your tooth enamel! The risk of breaking your teeth is far greater than any pleasure you get from chewing ice. Drink using a straw to reduce temptation.

As we mentioned before, teeth are made for biting and chewing food–not for opening things. Using teeth as tools increase your risk of breaking teeth. It also puts pressure on your jaw and puts you at risk of swallowing things that you shouldn’t. Instead of using your teeth as tools, take a minute and find the tools required or someone to give you a hand. Your teeth will thank you.

For more information, call Paul Neumann, DDS in Plaquemine, Louisiana, at 225-687-4366. Dr. Paul Neumann and our team are happy to help you develop positive dental habits!