Don’t Take your Stress Out on Teeth!

Are you wrecking your teeth without even knowing it? Many individuals have a tendency to chew on a pencil or other objects when faced with a lot of work. It can also be tempting to use your teeth to rip open a package, open a plastic bag of food, or turn a stiff soda cap. It may seem like a harmless habit, however, using your teeth for anything other than chewing food can lead to chips, cracks, or even tooth loss.

Stress is a natural experience, but too much stress can have a negative impact on your mouth, teeth, and gums. Oral symptoms of stress typically include orofacial pain, poor eating habits, bruxism, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), mouth sores, and periodontal disease. To prevent stress from affecting your oral health, it is important to practice good oral health habits.

It is also important to remember that teeth are not tools! Although stress-relieving and often addicting, using your teeth as tools is damaging to your enamel. Teeth are necessary for speech, grinding food, and maintaining a healthy smile. Yet, with their many functions, teeth should never be used for ripping open or biting down on materials.

Here are some common negative dental health habits to avoid so that your smile can remain healthy:

Placing Your Pencil Between Your Teeth

Have a stack of work to complete? Need to concentrate? Some individuals tend to store objects, including  pens, pencils, or erasers between their teeth when trying to complete a challenging task. Biting on a non-food object can cause teeth to shift or crack due to the high amount of pressure placed on teeth. It can even damage existing dental work done in the mouth. Biting down on these objects can create grooves in the teeth and lead to other oral problems down the road!

Using Teeth as Scissors

Sometimes it can be time-consuming to look for a pair of scissors. However, is it worth compromising your dental health? Ripping off paper sales tags, tape, or plastic is a bad idea! Using your teeth to open materials can damage the teeth and throw your jaw joint out of place, leading to a TMD/TMJ disorder. Also, the sharp edges of many materials can cut into your gums, which can increase your risk of developing infections and other problems with your gums.

Using Teeth as an Extra Hand

Even simple tasks such as kitting and sewing can be harmful if you involve your teeth in the process.  Holding pins or tearing thread with your teeth can create grooves or holes in teeth.

Using Teeth to Crack Nuts or Seafood  

Cracking open seafood served in a shell or nuts will easily damage your teeth. Teeth were not designed for this function and thus cannot handle the applied pressure. Failing to use a nutcracker or other appliance can lead to a cracked tooth, which may require a root canal procedure and crown.

Using Teeth as Bottle Openers

Don’t abuse your teeth! In addition to cracking your teeth, using them as a bottle opener can lead to serious damage and additional dental procedures.

Don’t let these bad oral habits become second nature! Whether it’s chewing on a bottle, ice, or a pencil,  resist the urge to damage your teeth with these objects. Using your teeth as instruments can wear down your teeth unevenly!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


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