Gnawing on a pencil. Drinking a soda during lunch. Munching on cubes of ice. We’ve all done these things, yet most of the time we don’t realize what we’re doing to our mouths. These everyday habits wear down our teeth and can lead to oral health problems in kids and adults.
Keeping permanent teeth is important as you age. Dental experts say that daily brushing and flossing, regular dental exams and professional cleanings may not be enough if you’re also hard on your teeth. Here’s a list of seven habits that can damage your teeth.
7 DAILY HABITS THAT DAMAGE YOUR TEETH AND GUMS
Eating ice cubes
Chewing on ice is something a lot of people do because it provides a certain sensory satisfaction. Even though there’s really no taste to ice, the cold temperature and crunchy texture is appealing to many. But chewing on ice is actually quite bad for your teeth’s enamel. Enamel is a protective layer that keeps your teeth strong and healthy. But without if that enamel breaks down, your teeth can be exposed to more bacteria and may be more susceptible to cavities. Furthermore, the hard consistency of ice can damage dental work, or even cause small cracks to form in your teeth. Over time, these cracks may become larger, letting in bacteria and perhaps even causing your teeth to fracture.
Brushing too soon after eating
Consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as sports and energy drinks, citrus fruits, wine, and tomatoes, can erode tooth enamel—the glossy outer layer of the tooth. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating and drinking these items can cause more damage because you are essentially brushing the acid into the teeth, not getting rid of it. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your pearly whites.
Using Your Teeth As A Tool
Who has ever used their teeth to rip off a tag or rip open a bag of your favorite snacks? We would venture to guess that most everyone has done this at least a time or two. Some dentists in Edmonton may even be guilty of this. However, using your teeth like this can severely damage them and threaten your overall dental health. Always, always opt for a pair of scissors instead.
Brush teeth too aggressively
Using bristles that are too firm for your gums or pressing too hard when you brush can also wear down your teeth and gums over time. It’s better to use a lighter hand and take time to brush thoroughly.
Products such as chewing tobacco, cigars or cigarettes. These are not only bad for your overall health, but also your teeth and gums. Tobacco puts you at higher risk for periodontal disease, because it reduces blood flow to your gums. It also causes bad breath, decreased saliva flow and higher tooth decay rate, and can cause oral cancer.
It is another dental habit that leads to tooth damage, among other things. Your fingernails are dirty and biting them allows all the germs hiding underneath to enter the body (yuck!). Also, fingernails are hard, really hard, and chronic biting can cause teeth to shift, break, or crack.
Food & Drink
Sugar and acid are two major offenders to oral health. Staying away from sugary and/or acidic food and drink goes beyond the obvious things like soda and candy. The acids in alcohol can damage your teeth and dry out your mouth. Diet soda and club soda are not guilt-free for your teeth as they still contain high levels of acid.