Generally speaking almost every person in the world is sure to have at least one annoying habit, let’s face it, nobody’s perfect. But the question is, are those habits harmful to the teeth?
Here is a list of the top 6 habits that are considered to be abusive to your teeth.
Nail biting: Causes chipped teeth and impact to your jaw (associated with jaw dysfunction, when placing jaw in a bulging position for long periods of time, putting pressure on it). Try bitter tasting nail polish next time, avoid stress and always hold something in your hands to make your fingers busy, try indulging in positive past times like chess, drawing, knitting or anything that makes use of your fingers and your hands.
Brushing too hard: Many people think that brushing too hard to clean your teeth is good, it’s said that brushing for two minutes 2x a day is a good habit, well it is if your not brushing too hard and if you’re not using a hard toothbrush, brushing with a hard toothbrush or brushing too hard, can damage not only your teeth but your gums as well, use a softer brush next time and don’t scrub your teeth, just gently massage it.
Grinding and clenching your teeth: Causes teeth to chip and crack plus muscle tenderness and joint pains. Try relaxation exercises and wearing a night guard at night also helps.
Chewing ice cubes: It is used to chill foods or drinks but sometimes we are tempted to chew it when you have it in your beverage. Always remember that chewing hard substance can damage your enamel and can cause your teeth and filling to break which can bring you to a dental emergency so it is better to enjoy the water in its liquid form. Try drinking chilled beverages without the ice next time or better yet use a straw for less temptation.
Using your teeth as tools: Causes cracking of your teeth, jaw injuries or swallowing objects accidentally. Try using your hands to hold things next time, use scissors to cut things and never use your teeth as a replacement for bottle openers. Specific tools were made for specific uses; always remember that your teeth were designed for eating and chewing your food and nothing else.
Constant snacking: causes cavity causing bacteria to feast on foods stuck in your teeth that produces acids that attacks your teeth’s outer shell. Try eating balanced meals next time to make you fuller, avoid fatty, sugary snacks, and always rinse your mouth and teeth with water after indulging yourself in sugary treats.
Here are some foods and drinks that are delicious but can potentially damage our teeth in no time.
- Citrus fruits – like oranges and lemons are good for our health but sometimes harmful to our teeth. Citrus fruits are acidic and acidic food can erode enamel that will cause a dental cavity. Make sure when you eat or drink citrus fruits, you will need to drink plenty of water.
- Coffee and tea – All of us love coffee because of the satisfying aroma and its very delicious taste. It is best to drink coffee and tea in their natural form because if sugar is added, it will become acidic that can damage your teeth. Frequent drinking of coffee and tea can stain your teeth as well which is not good if you are achieving pearly white teeth.
- Starchy foods – We frequently consume foods that have a lot of starch. Starch is one of the common substances that normally gets trapped on our teeth. Make sure that if you eat a lot of starchy food, you floss your teeth properly to remove the starchy debris on your teeth. These food particles will develop into plaque and can cause cavities.
- Soda – It is obvious that soda or a soft drink is acidic and too sweet. It is not only going to cause diabetes but also slowly eroding your enamel that can cause tooth decay. It would be better if you replace soda with water.
There are a lot of other habits that could really cause a lot of damage on your teeth, this is just an eye opener provided by Civic Gentle Dental Care to show you how simple habits that you often take for granted can do a world of harm. Habits like anything else can be avoided, just by being aware of them and by simply trying to control them little by little, take it one step at a time until eventually, you can be totally free of them. Remember, the choice is always yours!
I am a dentist at Hornsby Dental, a part of My Smile Cosmetic Dentistry group of dentists. Outside of dentistry, I enjoy great coffee and food, time spent with my family and friends (and my beloved dog), and the occasional hike along our beautiful NSW coastline.