Are you hurting your teeth without you knowing it? We’re aware of the importance of daily brushing and flossing, but not everyone knows about common habits that may damage the teeth. While these habits may not immediately ruin our smile, they can have a long-term impact on our oral health.
Here are some of them and how you can avoid them.
- Brushing too hard. Brushing harder and faster does not guarantee a better clean. This can only irritate your gums, damage your tooth enamel, and cause tooth sensitivity. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush for at least two minutes each time.
- Using teeth as a tool. Although convenient, using teeth to open packaging can cause them to crack or chip. It’s normal for some to do this when a tool isn’t easily accessible. However, it’ll be healthier and safer for your mouth to use proper tools.
- Participating in sports without a mouthguard. Playing sports is great but it can present dangers too. Getting hit hard in the mouth can result in chipped, loose, or missing teeth. A custom sports mouthguard may be costlier than store-bought ones but it’s more effective in keeping your mouth secure. It adheres to your bite, fit snug, and prevents the need for dental restorations.
- Chewing on ice cubes. Ice cubes may seem harmless as they’re only water but chewing on them can be damaging for your teeth. Drink chilled beverages instead of using a straw, let the ice melt in your mouth, or go for shaved ice instead.
- Nail biting. Some people tend to bite down their nails when they’re nervous or tense. Nail-biting not only affects the appearance of your nails and hands, but it can also damage the jaw as it’s held in a protruding position for a long period. Instead of biting your nails, use stress balls or other tools to keep your hands busy.
- Teeth grinding and clenching. It’s hard to diagnose teeth grinding and clenching as they often occur when a person is sleeping. They may be the cause if you feel pain in your jaw, head, or teeth after waking up. These habits can be triggered by stress and cause fractures on your teeth or damage your dental work. Using a custom night guard can help protect the mouth.
- Eating or drinking anything acidic or sugary. Carbonated drinks have high acid content and acids attack the tooth enamel. Bacteria, on the other hand, feed on sugar and produce acids. Limit your intake of sugar and acids. And when you do indulge in them, rinse your mouth with water afterward.
- Consistent snacking. It’s healthier to eat three balanced meals a day than to snack several times a day. When you snack, opt for healthier food choices. For example, instead of munching on dried fruits, eat fresh fruits. Instead of reaching for colored beverages, drink water instead.
- Smoking. To stop smoking is a long battle. However, continuing the habit isn’t only detrimental for your oral health but also for your overall health. Smoking can cause teeth staining, gum disease, and oral cancer. If you need support to quit the habit, help is available.
- Improper use of toothpicks. Toothpicks are used for removing debris stuck between teeth. Using it aggressively can damage your gum tissues. Scraping tartar off the teeth using toothpicks can damage the tooth enamel. Use toothpicks with care.
Take care of your teeth by avoiding the habits listed above. If you have further questions about dental care and oral hygiene, you may contact our team at Altima Port Hope. We accommodate everyone in the family – from kids, adults to seniors.