July 15, 2016
Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things you may be doing that can damage your teeth and cause problems with talking, eating, smiling, and even sleeping.
Below are 11 habits that can cause damage to your teeth that you may be doing and that you may not even realize you are doing.
1. Chewing Ice
This is sugar-free and natural, but it’s anything but harmless. When you munch on frozen, hard cubes, it can crack or chip your teeth. If chewing ice irritates the tooth’s soft tissue that’s inside, you may have regular toothaches. Cold and hot foods often trigger sharp, quick pain jabs or even lingering toothaches. Instead of chewing ice, chew sugarless gum.
2. Not Wearing a Mouth Guard
When you are playing a sport, whether its hockey, football, or any other type of contact sport, you should always wear something to guard your mouth. That molded plastic protects your upper teeth and if you don’t wear it, your teeth may be chipped or even be knocked out. You can buy one that automatically fits at a sporting goods store or you can have one made to your mouth by the dentist.
3. Bedtime Battles
Tooth problems can start when you’re even young. When you give your baby a bottle of formula, milk, or juice at their bedtime, it can put their new teeth in danger of decaying. Your baby might get used to falling asleep while sucking on a bottle, which means that their teeth are bathed in sugar overnight. It’s better to not put a bottle in their crib.
4. Tongue and Lip Piercings
Even though they are very trendy, tongue piercings aren’t good for your teeth. When you bite down on the metal, it can crack your teeth. The same can happen with lip piercings. When the metal’s rubbing up against your gums, it can cause damage to your gums that can mean you’ll lose your teeth. There is also a lot of bacteria in your mouth, so piercings can cause sores and infections. In addition, with tongue piercings you can accidentally pierce large blood vessels, which can lead to severe bleeding. It’s best to talk to your dentist before making a decision.
5. Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth, known as bruxism, has the potential to wear down your teeth as time goes by. It’s often caused by sleeping habits and stress, which means it’s really hard for you to control. Don’t eat hard foods through the day, and this can reduce damage and pain the habit can cause. You can also wear a mouth guard during the night to stop yourself from grinding your teeth while you sleep.
6. Brushing Too Forcefully / Frequently
Even when you are using the correct brush, it’s still possible to damage your teeth as well as irritate your gums by using it much too forcefully. If you brush your teeth gently, it will break up the plaque that is building up on your tooth surfaces.
It’s also possible to brush too much. It’s fine to brush two times per day – in the morning and at night. When you brush immediately after you eat, it can also be damaging. It can erode your tooth enamel, which has been weakened by the acidity that’s in what you eat and drink. It’s best to wait a half an hour before you brush.
7. Thumb Sucking
A lot of children suck their thumbs or fingers after their teeth begin coming in, which is around 5-6 years old. This can cause permanent changes to their jaw and tooth structure. Thumb sucking can misalign their teeth. This can cause a lot of different issues, including breathing and chewing problems. So it’s a good idea if you wean the little one off sucking their thumb.
8. Using Your Teeth as a Tool
A lot of people use teeth as a tool for breaking off tags, ripping open bags of chips, or unscrewing bottle tops. But this can damage your teeth. They are made just for properly speaking, looking great, and chewing food. They’re not hooks or pliers. It can damage your dental work or cause cracking in your teeth.
9. Using Your Teeth to Hold Things
There are some people who hold items using their teeth, like pencils, eyeglasses, or pens. They often do it while concentrating on a task that is especially difficult. But what they probably don’t realize is the amount of pressure that is being placed on the teeth as they’re biting down on something that isn’t food. Biting on something like a pen can make your teeth crack or shift, along with breaking dental work.
10. Biting Your Nails
This makes your nails look horrible, which is true, but it can also damage your smile and teeth. It also can create bad oral hygiene. Those who bite their nails generally do it all the time. Biting nails regularly can misalign your teeth and cause the teeth to break or splinter your enamel.
11. Drinking Soda and Citrus Juices
If you always are drinking a soda, this can do a lot of damage to your teeth. Even though you are drinking diet, the acidity in the soda can corrode the enamel on your teeth. It’s even worse if you are sipping it slowly. The acidity can cause problems in your dental health like enamel loss and decay along your gums.
Another drink that can damage your teeth is citric juices, since there is quite a bit of acid in these juices. If you want to drink juices for health benefits, drink them quickly so the contact with your teeth is as short as possible.
These are the things that you should avoid doing if you want to keep your smile looking wonderful. Some of the things in here are okay, in moderation. But others should be avoided if at all possible. If you have any of these habits, now is the time to stop it so that you can retrain your brain not to do it.
Questions about your Teeth?
If teeth issues are affecting your smile, the team at Island Coast Dentistry can help. Through a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Skupny can tailor a oral treatment plan that is most effective for you. A beautiful, healthy smile can be yours!
Contact us today to learn more, or schedule a consultation online.
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