8 Simple Habits That Can Break Your Teeth Without You Knowing

Bad habits are easy to develop but sometimes hard to quit. Needless to say but you all know how important it is to brush and floss your teeth every day to keep them healthy. However, most people do not think about the daily habits that can eventually ruin their pretty smiles. Some habits may appear harmless but they may also have a big impact on the long-term health of not just teeth but also the gums and the entire mouth.  

The mouth is full of bacteria that constantly form into a sticky, colorless plaque on the teeth. The plaque that is not removed between the teeth can harden and turn into tartar that can only be cleaned by professional dentists or dental hygienists. If not given enough care and attention, bacteria may cause serious risks such as periodontal (gum) diseases, painful chewing problems, and even tooth or bone loss. Dental professionals often use an X-ray to diagnose bone loss and examine signs of inflammation.

Not because you feel like there’s nothing wrong with your teeth doesn’t mean you can stop worrying about them. There are several ways to keep the gums, teeth, and mouth healthy: (1) Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. (2) Floss regularly to remove tartar-causing plaques. (3) Visit a dentist for a routine check-up and professional cleaning. And lastly, take note of the following habits that can damage your teeth and try to avoid them.

 

Grinding teeth

Constant grinding of your teeth can damage the layers over time. This is also known as “Bruxism”, an oral parafunctional activity that includes excessive grinding of teeth and jaw clenching. This can be difficult to avoid since the activity often occurs while a person is sleeping. Stress and sleeping habits are the main risk factors for bruxism.

 

How to avoid?

If you experience chronic bruxism, it is best to consult your dentist immediately. The dentist will recommend a mouth guard to minimize the effects of grinding on your teeth. Also, avoid eating hard foods to reduce the pain from this habit.  

 

Drinking soda

If you think that candies are the main sources of sugar, you probably have to think again. Aside from sweets, soda is one of the leading causes of tooth decay in Western countries. It contains sugar and acid that can damage the outmost and protective layer of the teeth called enamel. Take note that drinking one bottle a day can already cause significant damage to your teeth.

 

How to avoid?

Instead of luring yourself with soda and other sports drinks, you can substitute them with water or milk. Also, during occasional drink, rinse your mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages to reduce the risk of acid.  

 

Bedtime bottles

Toddlers may damage their new set of teeth when they get used to bedtime bottles. The child may fall asleep with the bottle of milk in his or her mouth, letting the sugars dip in the mouth overnight.

 

How to avoid?

Parents are advised to start switching from bottles to spill-proof cups when the child reaches the age of 1. By that time, the child is capable of holding a cup. Doctors also suggest switching into cow’s milk if breastfeeding is no longer available.

 

Chewing on ice cubes and other hard objects

Some people get the hang of chewing ice cubes for fun or for some satisfaction of urge. They may think that ice is natural and doesn’t contain elements that may damage the teeth but the ice itself is hard and frozen so it can cause small cracks on the enamel. This may also damage the braces, fillings, and crowns. Foods that are too hot or too cold can increase the risk of pain and sensitivity.

 

How to avoid?

If you feel like you can’t resist the chewing habit, you can substitute the ice cubes with sugarless gums. This may help you break the habit and increase the production of saliva which helps remove the cavity that causes bacteria.

 

Playing sports without protection

Getting in a game without mouth protection can easily break and smash your teeth, especially when the game gets a little rough. Make sure that your upper teeth are protected with mouth guard before entering any contact sport.

 

Wearing Tongue Piercings

Some people may find it fashionable and cool but tongue piercings can break the teeth when you keep on biting the metal stud. The metal also rubs with the gums which eventually cause infections, sores, and excessive bleeding. To avoid these cases, you can choose either to remove the piercing or use a toothbrush with soft bristles and wash your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash every after meal.

  

Biting fingernails

You surely had the habit of biting fingernails when you were a kid. While some people may even take this habit upon growing and they think it’s okay because it doesn’t affect them that much. But that’s what they thought so. Biting fingernails doesn’t only increase the risk of consuming bacteria but also cracks the enamel over time because of the hardness of the fingernail.

 

How to avoid?

Cut your fingernails short so when you try to bite them, there would be not enough nail to grab with your teeth. Or you can also splurge your nails with cuticles and nail polish to coat them with a bad taste.

 

USING TEETH AS OPENERS

Are you one of the many people who use their teeth in opening a Mcdonald’s ketchup packet? This may be convenient but you’re actually cracking the enamel and root as biting gets harder. This habit may cause your teeth to weaken and eventually lead to tooth loss.

 

How to avoid?

Make handy tools such as scissors, pliers, and bottle openers available to avoid opening stuff with your teeth.

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