9 Habits That Damage Your Teeth
An eye-catching smile is full of strong, beautiful teeth and gums. It is a healthy display of good oral health and diligent daily teeth cleaning. However, many people have bad mouth habits that threatened the fruits of good dental care.
Bad Oral Habits That Can Rob You of Healthy Teeth
These everyday habits can interfere with all the good things you do to maintain strong, cavity-free teeth:
- A Big Sweet Tooth: Constant snacking on sugary treats or drinking lots of soda or fruit juice is very bad for your teeth. Oral bacteria thrive on sugars and creates damaging acids that break down tooth enamel and destroys good oral health. Without proper teeth cleaning, this can lead to cavities, pain, and tooth loss.
- Using Your Teeth as a Tool: Opening packages or bottle caps with your teeth can cause serious harm to your teeth and gums. Sometimes teeth are the most convenient tool available but are never advisable to abuse teeth in such a stressful way. You can easily wind up with a chip, crack, break or completely dislodging a tooth.
- Chewing on Ice: Healthy teeth are strong and durable, but they are not made for chewing on hard or frozen objects, like ice. Cold dense cubes can easily crack or chip tooth enamel and irritate the inner pulp.
- Eating Hot Foods: Just like super cold items, very hot foods can trigger pain and result in a persistent toothache.
- Smoking: Constant exposure to tobacco can be detrimental to your teeth and overall health. Smoking causes teeth staining, mouth odor, decay, gum disease and tooth loss.
- Excessive Teeth Whitening: Too much bleaching can make tooth enamel appear an unnatural hue and increase sensitivity. Consult your dentist before attempting to whiten teeth on your own. Over the counter, methods are not necessarily harmful, but they must be used as directed. For optimal results, professional teeth whitening at your dentist’s office is always the best choice.
- Using the Same Old Toothbrush: Change your toothbrush every 3-4 four months or at the first sign of wear. Never use a brush with frayed bristles. An old toothbrush will no longer clean your teeth effectively and worn out bristles are harbingers of bacteria. In addition, it is important to dispose of a toothbrush after an illness, to avoid reinfection.
- Brushing with Hard Bristles: The substances you remove from teeth are soft and require no force. Teeth need to be treated with TLC. Too often people neglect to purchase a soft-bristled brush and end up using excessive force. Aggressive brushing can lead to irreversible tooth and gum damage. Also, go for the soft-bristled toothbrush and use a gentle hand.
- Grinding Your Teeth: The incredible pressure produced from nighttime clenching and tooth grinding can cause a tremendous amount of destruction. This habit is hard to manage, as it is usually done during sleep, and is a result of too much stress. Luckily, there are treatments that can help control the habit, like wearing a protective nightguard.