The following article is a guest post.
When we think of damage to our teeth, we tend to think of things such as food and drink. After all, we all learnt how our teeth can be damaged through plaque and cavities, and how these are caused by not properly brushing our teeth or eating the wrong sorts of food. And that is true. However there are many other common bad habits that may also be damaging your teeth, and these are often overlooked by popular imagination. Sometimes it’s because the cause of the damage is not readily apparent. Others, it’s because we enjoy these habits too much to want to think about the damage.
But whether you know it or not, or like or not, these habits will seriously rack up your dental bills.
Listed because it always bears repeating. Sugar plays absolute heck with your teeth, whether it’s candy, too much sugar in your coffee, or soda. Sugar increases the build-up of bacteria and acids around the mouth, causing all sorts of damage to your teeth over time. The occasional sugary snack is acceptable; however habitual consumption will quickly cause cavities to rival the Mariana Trench if you keep it up.
Instead of sugar, try to find better alternatives if you must snack. Dentist favourites include apples, carrots and celery, all of which are low in sugar, and the fibrous natures of which can actually be great for your teeth. Like natural toothbrushes, they can scrub away plaque as you’re chewing.
Grinding Your Teeth
This is more of a subconscious habit, which means that a lot of the time you aren’t even aware you’re doing it. However it nevertheless is a bad habit that needs to be curbed.
Grinding your teeth will, over time, start to weaken and wear down your tooth enamel. This weakening also makes them vulnerable to cracking, and also decreases their ability to withstand the usual wear and tear of eating.
While it’s hard to stop something that you’re not even conscious of doing, keep up at noticing and stopping the habit and you’ll soon make progress. If the grinding occurs while you’re asleep, then your dentist may be able to offer you a corrective mouth guard to wear while you’re sleeping. This will help keep your teeth from touching while you’re asleep, thus making it impossible to grind them.
The bad health effects that can be found with people who smoke are so extensive as to merit a medical journal, let alone a short article on the internet. With regards to dental hygiene, the prospect is no less dire. Even a mild smoking habit can cause massive damage to your teeth and gums, however you try to go about it. Tobacco products (including chewing tobacco) can cause bad breath, yellow teeth, oral cancer, reduced saliva, and hastened tooth decay.
The only way to realistic stop this is to quit, which always a worthy thing to do when it comes to smoking and tobacco in general. We shall not explain how to achieve that here, but rest assured that while the task it’s hard, the health benefits are more than worth it.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are designed to cut and break down things, but they are not for any purpose other than eating. Chewing through a tough steak is perfectly fine for your teeth, but using them to bit through a plastic wrapping is not. Or tearing off lids, opening bottles, or tearing rags. These will all increase the chances of a chipped or cracked tooth. Use a more appropriate tool instead.
While many people find a tongue or lip piercing rather dazzling, there are risks behind them for your teeth. First off is that your teeth may accidentally knock against them, or you may deliberately chew or play with them, causing chips and scratches that provide areas for plaque to accumulate over time. This will inevitably lead to gum disease and tooth decay if left untreated.
Another problem is that the piercing itself also provides a ripe breeding ground for bacteria and place for plaque to gather. This will lead to more or less the same effect, as well as bad breath.
If you must have an oral piercing, then be sure to be careful with it against your teeth. Take it out whenever you are eating or cleaning your teeth, and always ensure that it’s cleaned thoroughly each day. These actions will greatly reduce its ability to host bacteria.
Brushing Too Hard
Overly zealous oral hygienists may decide that their teeth could be made much cleaner with some seriously systematic scrubbing with their toothbrush. And certainly this will remove much of the plaque and remnants of food. However, it will also remove much of the tooth enamel as well. Yes, you can be too enthusiastic with your dental hygiene.
Avoid damaging your teeth when brushing by scrubbing firmly, but gently. Use a soft, steady circular motion over the tooth, and try to focus more and getting a good steady rhythm going rather than scrubbing intently. Brushing this way twice a day, followed by flossing and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash, should be more than enough to keep your teeth sparkling clean and healthy.
Any of these habits could lead to an appointment with the dentist. If any issues or pain begin to rise, contact Orlando Smiles or your local dentist to help resolve the issue.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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