Damaging your teeth is rarely a one-time circumstance. In fact, the worst dental problems are caused by our daily habits. These slowly but recurrently damage teeth or gums because we are mostly not aware of how much they affect them. However, they invariably result in one or several visits to the dentist in the long run. By avoiding these habits you will also avoid problems in your oral health.
- Chewing on ice: Although water is sugar-free, chewing on ice cubes can easily break off any tooth, be it natural or artificial. Even if your tooth does not fracture immediately, it will develop micro-fractures that weaken the tooth enamel. It can chip or break anytime afterward. This is the reason why it is common to have fractures days later while eating something soft or chewy. However, the true cause relies on the thousands of microscopical cracks caused by ice-munching.
- Playing sports without a sports guard: A sports guard is a rubber or plastic made to fit around your teeth. It forms a soft barrier between upper and lower teeth that protects them from any blow or any trauma caused by excessively hard biting. Seriously; it is common for sports players who do not wear a guard to chip or break off a tooth during the heat of the game.
- Grinding your teeth: If you find yourself frequently grinding or clenching your teeth you may suffer a condition called bruxism. This is a reaction to stress and anxiety. The problem with bruxism is that most people grind the most when asleep, so they are unable to control it. The habit of grinding can truly destroy your teeth over time. It will cause either fractures or the erosion of the incisal surface of your front teeth. Daily wearing a night guard can greatly help.
- Carbonated sodas: Sodas have a high percentage of sugar per serving. They also have phosphoric and citric acids, which wear away the enamel. Diet sodas may have less sugar content but they have higher acid content in the form of artificial sweeteners. In general, any beverage or dessert that has high sugar content should be avoided. If you do have them, be sure to brush your teeth afterward. Bacteria live on the sugars on your mouth, and excessive quantities will make them proliferate, increasing the risk of cavities.
- Candy and sugar bubble gum: Just as sodas, candy and bubble gum contain sugars that then become a haven for bacteria right on your mouth. Sticky candy, such as gummy bears and bubble gum, should especially be avoided because they tend to stick between your teeth and are harder to clean.
- Opening things with your teeth: Teeth should be used only for eating. Using your teeth as tools to open cans, bottles, or packages can cause them damage. Instead, keep scissors and can openers handy.
- Chewing on pencils: Just like chewing on ice, this habit can make crowns and teeth chip or break. Chew on sugarless gum when you need to concentrate.
- Smoking: Besides the fact that smoking stains teeth in a very characteristic way, it also propitiates the accumulation of bacteria because it decreases blood flow and saliva production. Gum disease is also common in heavy smokers. Quitting smoking is the best decision for your oral health.
Taking care of your teeth is a daily matter. Start with the small things. Brush your teeth every time you have a meal and after sugar-loaded snacks. Protect your teeth from blows and trauma. Avoid chewing on hard things or biting off from foods. Remember that your overall health in many ways starts on your mouth. Contact us now for a consult with our hygienists in order to know what more you can do to take care of your teeth.