Are you ruining your teeth without even knowing it? Even if you brush and floss regularly, your teeth may still be seriously damaged by these bad habits. While a few of these mistakes may immediately harm your pearly whites by cracking or breaking them, most will have significant effects in the long run. So before they ruin your smile, rid your daily life of these routines.
1. Chewing ice or random objects – Mindlessly chomping on hard, cold cubes of ice may damage teeth, or cause toothaches. The same goes for biting down on pens or eyeglass frames; the resulting pressure may shift or crack your teeth. If you must chew something, sugar free gum is a safer alternative, but could lead to developing the next habit on this list.
2. Tooth grinding – Occasionally grinding or clenching your teeth is fine, but when done on a regular basis tooth grinding may lead to damage or oral health complications. It doesn’t have to be conscious either; it also occurs during sleep, possibly because of stress, an abnormal bite, or crooked teeth. Common signs include waking up with a sore jaw and a constant headache.
Many dentists and dental specialists advise patients to avoid alcohol, chewing gum, and caffeine rich products to reduce the tendency to grind. While wearing a mouth guard at night may stop sleep grinding, you could also start an exercise routine or attend stress counselling if the cause is due to stress.
3. Consuming sugary or acidic food and drink – You’ve heard it countless times, but sugar really is bad for your teeth. Sodas, candy, sports drinks, and even fruit juices lead to tooth decay with regular consumption. Gummy bears deserve a special mention, because they stick to your teeth and cause the most damage. Sugar free sodas aren’t safe either; they maybe even more acidic due to the artificial sweeteners present.
4. Brushing too hard – A lot of people think that brushing their teeth as hard as possible is a good idea. After all, the more vigorously you brush, the cleaner the teeth, right? Unfortunately, brushing too hard on a regular basis wears down your teeth’s enamel. Brushing right after eating or drinking something acidic should also be avoided; ideally, you should wait at least an hour.
5. Using your teeth for random tasks – Using your teeth to open bottles, remove clothing tags, or open potato chip bags should be avoided. Your teeth are not all purpose tools, and using them as such may damage dental work or cause cracks in your teeth.
Preserving your teeth is easy if you maintain good oral hygiene and use them only for their intended purpose. Don’t forget to make regular visits to your dentist as well.