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The Enemies of Tooth Strength!

The Enemies of Tooth Strength!
by Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S.

Read The Enemies of Tooth Strength! by Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S. to learn more about Grove Smiles® Dentistry and our Dentistry office in Coconut Grove, FL.

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Happy Fourth of July This time of year, we are excited to celebrate our freedom and the strength of our nation. In honor, let us celebrate the unsung heroes, our teeth, who have to sustain everyday wear and tear and some harmful habits that we sometimes inflict on our teeth unconsciously by sharing how we can help keep them fighting strong.

The Teeth’s Armor

Our tooth enamel, when well maintained, is known to be one of the hardest substances in the human body. Although the enamel of your teeth has a tough exterior, it can also break quite easily when we put it to the test of poor oral health habits. Being aware of these bad habits can help you correct them and have your teeth standing at the top of the hill.

Be Prepared – Avoid These Dental Enemy Habits

Although these simple habits, which you may not even realize you are doing anymore, may seem harmless, they can, over time, damage that beautiful smile of yours!

Biting Your Nails

As we are in the stands or on the edge of our seats with “nail-biting” experiences, we should remember that it is only a manner of expression.

With nail biting comes the risk of chipping or breaking your teeth and damaging enamel. In addition, the front teeth are often the first to suffer wear and tear from nail biting. So for the sake of teeth everywhere, let us keep the term “nail-biting experience” as an expression rather than a label for ourselves!

Take Your Teeth Out Of Your List Of Tools

You are in a hurry and need help opening a small plastic packet. You look around, and without scissors or a knife, you resort to your first tool, second, of course, to your hands – your teeth.

While your teeth may seem the perfect solution to the current situation, using them as a tool will cause more harm than good. As healthy and strong as your teeth may be, they are not meant to be used as pliers, bottle openers, or any other tool. Using them as a tool makes you risk immediate damage of fractured or broken teeth and, worse yet, even tooth loss. All damage is not always visible or experienced immediately, so for those who like to use their teeth as tools, beware that the tooth damage puts you at greater risk of decay and cavities!

Chewing On Your Pencils and Pens

We must remember we are not animals who need to sharpen or clean our teeth by gnawing on tree limbs or bones. The reason we may be gnawing is that we are simply in this habit as we are pondering over a complex problem. The challenge is that we do not realize how much pressure we place on our teeth when we bite down on something that isn’t food.

Be aware that chewing on your pens and pencils puts you at risk for broken teeth and even damage to existing dental work. Constant chewing on hard objects can compromise dental restorations such as fillings or crowns.

Unfortunately, this habit is frequently an unconscious habit. So if you find your pens, pen caps, or pencils look like they may have gone through the garbage disposal, you may have this problem.

Crunching Ice

Many enjoy chomping down on those last few ice cubes at the bottom of their glass, but is it so terrible for your dental health?


Ice is an incredibly hard substance, and when pitted against teeth, it can damage our enamel. The cold can further weaken the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to breakage. Chewing ice cubes doesn’t just chip teeth; it chips away tooth enamel, causing severe damage over time.

Repeated grinding against ice can result in enamel cracking and erosion. Because enamel has no living cells, the body cannot repair any chips or cracks on its own—they will require enamel restoration treatments.

Let’s Celebrate Together!

Our team at Grove Smiles Dentistry in Coconut Grove, FL, is ready to help you have a number one nation smile. Call us today so we can help you achieve them.

As a championship community, we want to have you help us by sharing tips that you may have for quitting the habit of biting your nails, chewing on pencils and pens, or crunching on ice. So please share them with us on our Facebook page. We’re always excited to hear from you!

For Your Health,

Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S.

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Grove Smiles® Dentistry

Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S., P.A.
2685 Bird Avenue
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Phone: 305-858-0505
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