Which Harmful Habits Affect Your Teeth the Most?
There are many foods that will help your teeth to be strong, but are you aware of the foods and habits that will hurt them? If you want to keep your teeth for as long as possible, then there are some habits you need to avoid which will make damaged tooth enamel. Eliminating those habits can help you enjoy your real teeth much longer.
Chewing on Ice
Many people engage in chewing ice, but it is also one of the worst habits for your teeth. Ice is hard and it can chip your teeth or even crack them. Cracked teeth can easily become infected, possibly requiring a new crown or even a root canal. Ice can cause the temperature of the teeth to drop quickly, which can cause them to fracture. Learn to chew on something else instead that is not going to crack your teeth.
Nail BitingBiting your nails can also chip or crack your teeth. It can also cause jaw pain because you naturally must extend your lower jaw to bite your nails. Other problems can occur if you do this frequently such as jaw dysfunction (TMD). This habit can also put unwanted bacteria in your mouth.
Sucking on LemonsThis habit is one of those that will certainly lead to damaged teeth. Lemons are one of those high acid foods that will definitely lead to weakened tooth enamel that is pitted and will more easily develop cavities and sensitive teeth.
Sipping Soda Through the DayAnother one of the bad habits that will damage your teeth is sipping on acidic drinks for hours. Sodas have their own acid (and so does coffee, tea, fruit juice, and alcohol) and exposing your teeth to it for hours at a time will certainly damage the enamel.
The bacteria in your mouth also produce acid when it consumes sugar. Soda gives it plenty of sugar – up to 10 teaspoons full in a single can. If you do not remove the sugar from your teeth frequently, the two acids work together to corrode your enamel that much faster.
Snacking Through the DayThis habit is about as bad as drinking sodas or sweet drinks all day. It keeps sugar on your teeth through the day, letting the bacteria produce acid on them all day, too, which damages the enamel. Eating balanced meals will help keep the hunger pangs away longer, and rinsing your mouth out with water after consuming sugary foods will help keep the sugar off your teeth.
Playing Sports Without a Mouth GuardSports can be a lot of fun – and rough – especially if you do not wear a mouth guard. Teeth can be knocked out when objects go flying, like a hockey puck, a baseball, football, or a fist – if you engage in martial arts. You can save your teeth and your smile (and your money) by getting a quality mouth guard – and you may need a helmet, too.
Pierced TonguesWhen you get a tongue piercing, it can help you be fashionable, but it is also a good device to crack a tooth. Biting down on the metal object, which is harder than your teeth, it can lead to chipping or cracking them. The piercing also increases your risk of getting an infection, and it can damage your gums.
Teeth GrindingGrinding your teeth is a habit that many people engage in unconsciously – sometimes even in their sleep. Stress is often the cause, but the habit can seriously damage your teeth. Not only can it wear down (shorten) your teeth, but it can also chip and crack them. It may also lead to headaches and jaw pain. Finding ways to reduce stress can be helpful, but many people do not even know that they do it in their sleep. Your dentist can tell and help. A custom-made mouthguard from the dentist can prevent this habit from damaging your teeth further.
Eating Sticky FoodsFoods that are sticky, such as gummi bears, are often very sweet and will stick to your teeth longer than most other foods. This keeps the acid from the bacteria on your teeth longer. It will also stick more between your teeth. Some foods, like white bread, turns into a gooey and sticky mass as you chew them, and this food does the same thing.
Failing to Brush and Floss Each DayOne habit that you need to develop if you do not already have it is to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss. Brushing your teeth should last at least two minutes each time in order to do a good job. This practice not only removes the harmful bacteria (plaque) from your teeth but also the sugar and the acid.
If you have damaged teeth and tooth decay from bad or harmful habits, you can get tooth repair and other cosmetic dentistry from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist. He has offices in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas. In order to get healthy teeth again and a great smile, you can call (817) 756-8578 for a consultation.