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Nail Biting May Lead to Dental Issues

dentist Cypress TXNail biting is habitual. Children and teens are the most common abusers with side effects that can be costly and time consuming to correct. Your family dentist can educate you and your children on what can happen if this habit continues over time.

Biting on fingernails does not create a smooth and even nail. Jagged and broken nails can have sharp edges that can cut into soft oral tissues. These cuts or abrasions can become infected from oral bacteria requiring intervention at times with antibiotics.

Putting hands in your mouth allow germs from whatever you have touched to enter your body. This can lead to illness, and in addition is unsanitary in general.

If you have ever bitten or chewed on your nails or a hangnail, you might have noticed the strange oral contortions you have assumed to achieve your objective. Over time, you can literally cause your teeth to shift or jaw to ache from these abnormal movements.

Chewing on nails can lead to another very serious habit … bruxism (grinding of teeth and clenching the jaw). It has been demonstrated that biting nails increases the likelihood of teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding can lead to a host of other problems … worn dental enamel, broken or chipped teeth, pain in the ear, neck, jaw, head, neck, or mouth.

What can be done to discourage these destructive habits?

Nail biting: While some adults engage in nail biting, it is mostly children and teens that bite their nails. It is very often done subconsciously while watching TV, reading, or often in school due to boredom. Placing something unpleasant tasting on the hands will serve as a reminder to remove the hands from the mouth; mentioning it when seen; or rewarding good behavior like breaking the habit might be a motivator.

Teeth grinding: This habit might cease after breaking the nail biting pattern, but since much of the teeth grinding is done subconsciously during periods of sleep, a mouth guard is advantageous in correcting this habit.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is rewarding in many ways … less time and money spent on needed dental repair; the ability to speak and chew correctly allows you to enjoy countless foods and time with friends; a great smile promotes self-confidence … but mostly a healthy mouth contributes to great overall health.

Are there food restrictions with Invisalign?

orthodontics CypressInvisalign clear aligners treat a malocclusion through the use of removable orthodontics making this means of teeth straightening very popular for teens and adults of all ages.

Wearing braces to straighten teeth is rewarded with healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Treatment with Invisalign offers numerous advantages over traditional orthodontic methods including:

They are Removable – This is very important for maintaining dental health. But the true joy is the ability to eat all the foods and snacks you love with NO restrictions.

  • Brushing and Flossing – With standard braces, these daily tasks are doable; however, flossing through the wires is time consuming and difficult. Food debris can become trapped where brushing doesn’t reach leading to plaque build-up and the potential for dental decay. With Invisalign, brushing and flossing coupled with 6 month dental check-ups is easily done.
  • Meals and Snacks – With Invisalign aligners you simply remove them before enjoying all your favorite foods.  Crunchy, chewy, hot, or cold … you can enjoy them all without worrying about bending or breaking brackets or wires.

They are Comfortable – The aligners are made with a material that is strong enough to gently shift your teeth to their correct placement, but will not cut or abrade soft oral tissues in the process.

They are Clear – Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible and will not interfere with your day to day functions. This makes them the most popular choice for teens and young professionals.

They are Convenient – At the onset of Invisalign treatment, the dentist takes photographs, dental impressions, and x-rays. These are the tools the Invisalign technicians use to fabricate a series of aligners designed to be updated every few weeks to keep teeth moving to the correct occlusion. Periodic visits with your dental provider will make sure your teeth straightening stays on track.

At the conclusion of treatment, you will be required to wear a retainer (also removable) for a period of time so your teeth can develop a “memory” of their new corrected location. Without this final step, teeth could drift back to their original placement.

Whether it’s a period of months or years, your new smile and a healthier mouth will be a reward that will last a lifetime. To find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-256-6866.