Nail Biting And Other World Cup Habits Detrimental To Your Teeth

Big sporting events can be exciting, but your teeth can suffer if you don’t take care!

With England now qualifying for the knockout stages in this year’s World Cup Football tournament, we can perhaps relax a little; but when the going gets tense, it is worth keeping an eye out to make sure our teeth and gum care doesn’t slip.

Biting nails and teeth grinding

You can imagine the scenario. England are facing penalties to win the game and avoid being knocked out … we probably don’t need to say more?! These are the kind of moments when we find ourselves biting hard on our fingernails, or perhaps even grinding our teeth together and both of these can cause damage to our teeth. Biting our nails can cause them to chip, or even, in rare circumstances, to break. If you wear dental veneers, there is also a small risk that this may cause them to become loose or to ‘pop off’ altogether.

Grinding our teeth is potentially even more damaging, with teeth wearing down, cracking or even breaking. This habit, also known as bruxism, can also occur at night when we sleep, especially if we are stressed.


Football and alcohol often go together, especially when the national team are playing. Whether you enjoy watching the game alone with a few beers, or joining others to watch it, the likelihood is for many, that alcohol consumption will rise during the tournament. Aside from any dental damage that can happen through accidents, alcohol consumption can contribute to harming your teeth.

Firstly, many alcoholic drinks are high in sugar, and we know well the damage that this can cause to the enamel on our teeth. Not only that though, but dehydration often occurs after we have been drinking.This can lead to an increase in potentially harmful oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Oral cancers are also generally higher in those who drink heavily.

Whilst we are not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy the World Cup, we do advise that you monitor the amount of alcohol that you are drinking and try to moderate appropriately.

Barbeque foods

Some of you will probably be holding barbeques when England play and it is worth remembering that many of the foods consumed are likely to be coated in a very sticky sweet sauce. This is notoriously difficult to remove from between the teeth, so take care to brush and floss well as soon as you can after the meal.

World Cup or not, if you feel that your teeth or gums need professional attention, we are always here to help. An appointment to see one of the dentists at the Elmfield House Dental Practice can be made by calling us on 020 8614 1995.