Dr. Tina Saw—general cosmetic dentist founder of Oral Genome, a D2C oral wellness testing kit weighs in on a few VERY common and sometimes subconscious habits that can harm your teeth.

This can dry up your saliva—making your mouth more susceptible to cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. “Saliva has a lot of protective factors that keep your mouth healthy,” Dr. Saw explains. “Constant mouth breathing alters the pH of the saliva and removes some of its antibacterial effects.” One way to help reduce mouth breathing while sleeping is to practice nasal breathing techniques in the morning, before bed, and while exercising.

Unconscious Clenching

It’s hard to control teeth grinding when you’re asleep but clenching and grinding over time will grind down your teeth, increasing the risk of breakage + tooth fracture, as well as causing gum + tissue recession and tooth sensitivity. Wearing a nightguard can help reduce the adverse side effects of teeth clenching.

Nail Biting

Nail biting can chip your teeth. Even though your teeth are harder than your nails, they have thinner incisal edges that can chip easily if you bite your nails the wrong way. A few good ways to try and kick this habit are by keeping your nails trimmed short, applying bitter-tasting nail polish, or getting a gel manicure.

Brushing Too Hard

Many people think that brushing harder will help remove all the plaque + bacteria, but it can abrade your enamel and cause tooth wear and sensitivity. Brush your teeth gently with a pressure-sensing electric toothbrush or a soft manual toothbrush. Also, remember to floss daily and see your hygienist at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning. 

Whitening Too Much

Everyone loves white teeth—but over-whitening is also common. “Excessive teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity and result in the incisal or edges of the teeth becoming translucent. It can also strip your teeth of its protective enamel and weaken them.”

About Tina Saw, DDS

Dr. Tina Saw provides her patients with exceptional cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry. As a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, she has spent many hours striving towards perfecting techniques that yield top-notch cosmetic results to deliver natural, beautiful, and minimally invasive dentistry. Dr. Saw is also a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and San Diego County Dental Society.

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