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Stop Chewing on These Common Items

May 31, 2023
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Are you a habitual nail-biter? Do you tend to chew on the pencil when you are thinking of items to add to your grocery list? Well, chewing on these can cause severe damage to your teeth and gums, leading to an emergency visit to the dentist. To ensure that your oral health is perfect and your teeth and gums are in great shape, you should know how chewing on seemingly harmless stuff like the following can be dangerous.


Your nails

Studies show that nail biting is a common stress-coping habit for many people. This is not just bad for your nails but also your teeth. Nail biting causes terrific wear and tear on your teeth. The front teeth especially suffer a lot of damage.

The jaw is twisted into an unnatural position when you try to bite your nail. This puts a heavy strain on your jaw joints, teeth, and, sometimes, even your ears. Nail biters can also worsen their teeth-grinding habit (Bruxism), which can lead to chipped or cracked teeth making. Needless to say, the enamel of your teeth is worn down too.

Bacteria from your hands get easy access to your mouth when you bite your nail. That could lead to infections in your mouth too. For better oral health and healthy teeth, stop your nail-biting habit and learn to cope with stress in healthy ways. Keeping nails extremely short or painting them with bitter polish are ways to break the habit. Otherwise, this can lead to frequent visits for cleanings and fillings.

Stationery items

Chewing on the back of the pencil or pen when you stop to think while jotting down stuff is common. But again, this can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. The bacteria on the pen or pencil that has been lying around in the open gets right in your mouth too. The habit of chewing on paperclips or the metal base of the eraser that comes with the pencil – both are common too and equally harmful to oral health. This is yet another habit that could prompt several visits to the dentist for cleanings and fillings.

Make a conscious decision to avoid biting down on such things when you are preoccupied. Carry fruit bits or sugar-free gum and pop those in when you feel the urge to chew on a pencil. Ask your dentist for tips on breaking these habits.

Various metals

The most dangerous in terms of the impact it can have is chewing on hard metals. It may be keys you bite down on while rummaging through your bag for something. It may be bottle caps/ can tabs that you use your teeth to pull open. All of these can seriously damage your teeth, causing fractures and cracks that cannot be rectified. You can also damage or tear your gums when the metal scrapes against them. The hygiene factor only adds to the potential risks you take on with this habit.

Use a rubber strip to open bottles. Put your keys in your pocket instead of your mouth. And use a can opener for that beer can instead of risking your precious teeth.


Paying a little bit of attention to how you are using (or abusing) your teeth can save you a visit to the dentist and a lot of pain. It’s worth the effort. After all, good oral health means a great smile, healthy teeth to enjoy your favourite foods with, and no painful dental visits except for cleanings and fillings.

Ready when you are

Lamine Diallo
Lamine Diallo
02:21 15 Jun 22
My family and I have been receiving care from Dr. Ashraf and his amazing team since we first moved to Waterloo in 2002. His assessment skills are spot on, he is gentle and is very skilled at working with anxious\nervous patients. My dental hygienist is Lin who is very knowledgeable, and passionate about her work. She is amazingly gentle yet very,very thorough when it comes to preventative dental care. She is didactic as well, taking the time to teach patients how to use certain equipment as well as addressing gingivitis in pro-active ways. We are in very capable hands.
Trisa Kapetaneas
Trisa Kapetaneas
18:12 01 Jun 22
I have been a patient here for over 2 years now and I've always enjoyed the experience. The staff are professional and have always made me feel comfortable. I recently had a cleaning done by Lynn for the first time and she was amazing! Will continue to visit for my checkups/cleanings.
Aamir Mirza
Aamir Mirza
14:54 03 May 22
Dr. Ashraf and his team is amazing. All work done under one umbrella for entire family. We all are very happy to be under the care for the last 20 plus years. Lin, dental hygienist is remarkable professional. She knows her job so well that I look forward to my cleaning every time I'm scheduled. Thank you Lin for your amazing work for my entire family!
Alena Delena
Alena Delena
14:50 02 May 22
My family loves Dr Ashraf. We've been through many dentists in many cities and he's by far our favourite one. He's always thorough and professional. His referrals are also of equal high caliber. I went to him for a root canal and a crown. I had many concerns and he addressed them all personally. He even went so far as to redo a root canal for me. Recommend.
Nicole Wood
Nicole Wood
15:31 28 Apr 22
I found Ashraf Dentistry a year ago and I absolutely love their dental clinic. Everyone is very kind and thorough. Lin is the best dental hygienist I've ever had! She takes the time to ensure I receive the care I need. Both dentists I've seen have also been very kind and wonderful at making me feel like my teeth are being taken care of. Highly recommend!
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