Bad habits can be easy to pick up and difficult to break, and many of which we do without even realising. However, from consuming sugary foods to nail biting to smoking to teeth grinding, many of these habits can be harmful to your teeth. Avoid these 8 bad habits that are destroying your teeth to maintain optimal dental health for many years to come.
1. Aggressive Brushing
Brushing too hard and scrubbing your teeth vigorously can strip and wear away your tooth enamel over time, leading to increased tooth irritation, sensitivity and gum recession. Brushing your teeth with greater pressure will not make them cleaner, but rather damage them. It is best to brush your teeth gently to avoid harm and use a medium-bristled brush rather than a hard-bristled brush so as not to abrade the teeth.
2. Acidic Foods
Acidic foods like lemons and oranges weaken and erode enamel leading to sensitivity, cavities, and decay. To avoid damage to the teeth, avoid or limit acidic foods, use a straw when drinking to avoid contact with teeth, and rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking something acidic and do not brush your teeth straight after as this weakens the enamel and makes it easier to strip.
3. Sugary Foods
Eating and snacking frequently on sugary foods increases cavities, decay, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease. This is because sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth that releases acid that eats away at the teeth. Try to cut down on sugar, eat healthy balanced meals, and always drink water over sugary soda.
4. Nail Biting / Chewing Ice / Using Teeth as a Tool
Biting and chewing on substances other than food such as chewing ice, biting your nails, or using your teeth as a tool like to open packages or bottles can harm your teeth. Doing so can chip, crack, break, and fracture your teeth which exposes them to tooth decay, damage your gums, and put extra stress on the jaw, leading to jaw dysfunction.
Smoking is not only bad for your overall health but also your teeth. Smoking permanently stains the teeth brown, can increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer, leads to bad breath, hinders saliva flow causing dry mouth, and increases plaque and bacteria that destroy the enamel. Hence, it is advised to stop smoking and try to cut down on cigarettes.
6. Grinding Teeth
You may grind your teeth in your sleep or when you’re stressed or anxious but can be unaware that you are doing it. Grinding your teeth is a condition also known as bruxism and wears your teeth enamel down over time, exposing them to decay, and causes chips, fractures, cracks, and jaw pain. To prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching, you can wear a mouthguard at night to protect the teeth, and try to understand the stress triggers that lead you to grind so that you can stop when you are aware that you are doing it.
7. Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is a common habit in children and can affect the development and growth of the teeth into adulthood. Thumb sucking can result in misaligned teeth or an overbite, can spread apart the teeth, and cause the teeth to grow crooked, increasing the need for teeth straightening treatments.
8. Drinking Red Wine & Coffee
Coffee and red wine stain and discolour the teeth so cutting down on these drinks will benefit your teeth. This is because both coffee and red wine contain chromogens, tannins, and acid. Chromogens produce pigments that latch onto dental enamel and stain the teeth. Tannins increase staining by boosting the chromogens and helps them stick to the tooth. Acid erodes the enamel, making it softer and rougher, creating the ideal surface for chromogens to stick to.
Practise Healthy Dental Habits with Bright & White
From aggressive brushing, consuming acidic and sugary foods, and smoking to grinding teeth, thumb sucking, drinking red wine and coffee, and nail biting, chewing ice, and using teeth as a tool, avoid these bad habits that can seriously destroy your teeth to ensure you have a healthy smile for many years to come.
For more information on bad dental habits and how to practise healthy dental habits, get in touch with Bright & White Dental Spa today.