Our teeth are incredibly precious. Although they may seem tough and resilient, they are remarkably susceptible to damage and erosion.
Unlike muscle tissue or bones in other parts of our body, teeth do not have the ability to repair themselves, so this means that they must be taken care of extremely well and develop daily habits that help maintain their health.
We know that there are several very common habits that can do long-term damage to teeth. We also know that not everyone is aware of them. Read on to make sure you’re not accidentally doing permanent damage to your pearly whites.
Chewing on Ice
This may seem like an innocent and harmless habit, but chewing ice could prove detrimental to your oral health. The ice wears down your teeth and could often cause cracks to occur. After you’re finished with a drink, toss the ice right away to avoid the temptation.
A very common habit that could damage teeth due to chips or cracks is unconsciously chewing pencils and pens. A number of people do this while either thinking or feeling stressed about something. Try to be aware of it and stop whenever you find yourself doing it again.
Not Wearing a Mouth Guard
This habit applies especially if you’re into any form of contact sport such as boxing or ice-hockey. Wearing a mouth guard during these sports is almost as important as wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
This one applies to toddlers. Don’t give them a milk bottle to lull them during bedtime. The sugars in milk cause the tooth enamel to break down and this speeds up the decaying process.
If you don’t already have one, don’t get one. Dentists recommend against any form of mouth jewelry since it tends to cause damage to the teeth as well as the gums. Cracks could occur in teeth and gums could recede due to prolong exposure to the jewelry. Also, bacteria tends to build up faster around these jewelry in or around your mouth.
This habit affects millions and millions of people worldwide. The cause could either be excessive stress in one’s life or simply hereditary habits. Clenching and grinding your teeth at night could cause serious damage to the teeth, gums and jaw. The habit is called bruxism and can be treated by either relaxation techniques or a special mouth guard that must be worn at night during sleep.
Any form of food that has sugar is both highly addictive and damaging to teeth. The sugars break down the enamel first and then head to the dentine, which causes severe damage overall. The buildup of plaque also leads to cavities since teeth have decayed so rapidly after eating gummy bears or candy regularly. Even cough drops could cause this if consumed excessively.
Using Teeth as a Tool
Opening anything with your teeth is extremely risky as it can cause damage that may not be immediately noticeable. This applies especially to opening bottle caps with just your teeth. Be patient and look for the right tools to open cans and packages or rip things.
Eating the Wrong Food
We’ve already covered drinks and food high in sugar, but another common element that is bad for oral health is starchy foods. Chips and other foods high in starch can stick to the teeth and create an environment perfect for the buildup of plaque and the growth of bacteria.
Most of us have a few bad habits, but some are worse than others when it comes to oral health. If any of these sounded familiar to you, it’s critical that you try to stop them in their tracks. And if you’re having trouble, come see us for additional help.