Oral Habits | Part 2

Oral Habits | Part 2

The last time we talked about oral habits, we established that habits can be found both in children and adults.  We also mentioned a few of these habits and how they can be managed at home and in the dental clinic. We will continue with other habits that are commonly found in adults bearing in mind most bad oral habits of children may persist, or develop during the adult years, particularly during periods of stress. Common adult problems include;

  1. Bruxism

Bruxism is the nonfunctional grinding or gnashing of teeth.  It occurs most often during sleep, It results in wear of teeth which can result in sensitivity on intake of cold or sweet drinks. It can occur as a result of occlusal interferences or high restorations, stress, personality disorders, nutritional deficiencies, mental stress, etc.

Treatment consists of:

  1. Balancing of the occlusal interferences or reduction of high restorations.
  2. Referral to medical personnel to rule out systemic or psychological problems
  3. Fabrication of a night grinding appliance
  1. Crunching on ice or hard foods

Crunching on ice or chewing on popcorn kernels for example may seem harmless, but it can lead to damages such as Wear of the teeth or fracture, Which result in sensitivity and pain respectively. Treatment will be determined by your dentist based on how severe the damage is.

  1. Using the teeth as a tool

Although in some cases it may seem natural to use the teeth to tear off a bit of thread or open a plastic wrapper, using the teeth as tools such as opening a bottle can damage the teeth. Treatment is based on how severe the damage is, for example, your dentist might decide to take out a badly broken tooth and give you a replacement.

  1. Nail biting

It is rarely seen before the ages of 3 and 6 years. It doesn’t cause any significant change in dental alignment, although those involved should be encouraged to stop the habit as it is unhealthy. The simplest method is to place a bad-tasting polish to discourage the practice. Some say having a nice manicure done might discourage you from biting your nails.

  1. Cleaning the teeth irregularly or improperly

Perhaps the most common bad oral habits of adults are not cleaning the teeth properly with a toothbrush using fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing at least once a day, and failing to visit the dentist at least twice a year. Any dentist will happily instruct patients on proper methods of dental hygiene


It is important to address such behaviors as early as possible Because such habits can do damage to the teeth.

Please drop your comments/suggestions below or you can call us to book an appointment with us at Hilton Dental or walk into our clinic any day from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm to see our dentist.

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