Sometimes, we put our teeth through things we believe our teeth can handle. As strong as they may be, our teeth could fare a lot better without those bad habits to contend with. Some habits- those that are done unconsciously, are a lot harder to kick to the curb. But kicked to the curb they must be! All for the greater good: the well-being of our beloved teeth.
Habits that harm your teeth
Everyday habits that you often don’t think twice about could very well be harming your teeth. Sadly, teeth are taken for granted because they are expected to stick around for a long time. The thing is- your teeth could possibly see you through the birth of your great-grandchildren! But only if they are well-taken of. So, here’s 10 habits that are bad for your teeth that you really should be aware of:
Bad habit#1: Nail biting
Nail-biting is a compulsive habit, done by people of all ages, but is especially common in children. Used to relieve stress, and even boredom, this habit poses a problem when done in excess. Nail biting can result in your teeth shifting out of their natural position, causing your teeth to become worn down. Furthermore, nails provide a breeding ground for bacteria; and as your nail goes into your mouth, the bacteria are transferred to the mouth and the rest of the body.
Bad habit#2: Teeth grinding/clenching
People grind or clench their teeth usually when anxious. Teeth grinding can also occur as a result of improperly aligned or crooked teeth. The problem arises when the teeth grinding becomes excessive. It can lead to the wearing down of the tooth enamel, weakening your teeth and making them more vulnerable to cracks and chips.
Bad habit#3: Brushing too hard
As much as brushing is encouraged, using too much force when brushing your teeth, especially with a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away. Rigorous brushing can also lead to gum irritation and bleeding gums.
Bad habit#4: Chewing on ice cubes
Compulsive ice eating is a medical condition known as pagophagia. Apart from being a sign of a nutritional deficiency or eating disorder, chewing ice can erode the tooth enamel and lead to cracks in your teeth.
Bad habit#5: Continuous snacking
Constantly eating snacks high in sugars, can cause a build-up of plaque. Plaque combined with leftover food particles, produces acids that erode the enamel on your teeth.
Bad Habit#6: Using your teeth like a built-in tool
Teeth are not made to function as a tool. Pulling out clothing tags, plastic packaging, and using your mouth as an extra pair of hands doesn’t do your teeth any favours. In fact, it can result in cracked teeth and even an injured jaw.
Bad habit#7: Excessive consumption of alcohol
Unfortunately, alcohol and teeth are not compatible. Drinking alcohol tends to dry out the mouth, decreasing the flow of saliva. Without sufficient saliva, the bacteria already on your teeth clings to the enamel and fails to get washed away.
Bad habit#8: Smoking or chewing tobacco
Tobacco usage in any shape or form, can wreak havoc on your physical and oral health. Dental issues caused by the use of tobacco include foul breath, bleeding gums, discoloured teeth, and gum disease.
Bad habit#9: Infrequent teeth-brushing
After a long day’s work or an exhausting night out on the town, it can be tempting to just collapse onto the bed without brushing and flossing your teeth. Putting off the brushing until the next day allows the bacteria to build up, which is unhealthy for your teeth and gums.
Bad habit#10: Playing sport without a mouth guard
Wearing a mouth guard may not be the most fashionable look. But it does the job: it protects your teeth from any trauma or injury to the mouth. Using a mouth guard when engaging in contact sport or even collision sport is just a small price to pay to ensure that your teeth stay clear of any chips or cracks. Custom-made mouth guards, which are specifically designed for your mouth offer a better fit than those bought at a pharmacy or sporting store; and as such, tend to better protect your teeth.
Here at Beyond Dental, we understand that some habits can be difficult to break. It takes time, and a lot of effort. Whilst you are learning to unlearn a few of those habits, we will help you take care of your teeth. So, give us a call today and take that step towards improving your oral health!