Sometimes, a few persistent bad habits can undermine all the good things that you do for your oral health. You’re brushing and flossing, and you always remember your regular dental checkups – but you might still have a bad dental habit, or two, to kick.
Chewing on ice is a habit that can wreck your teeth – literally. Hard, frozen ice cubes can irritate the soft tissue inside a tooth, leading to toothaches. You can chip a tooth, or even crack it.
Don’t use your teeth as tools, for example for opening bottle caps (it may be a cool party trick, but it makes for a stupid habit), tearing packets, or holding pins – your teeth are meant to be used for one thing only, and that’s eating.
Brushing too vigorously is hard on your teeth. This bad habit can wear down enamel, and cause teeth sensitivity and gum irritation. Don’t use a hard-bristled toothbrush: it will not clean better.
Tongue and lip piercings are a bad idea if you care about your dental health. Any kind of piercing in this area raises the risk of infections and sores. Metal rubbing against your gums can cause gum damage, which can subsequently lead to tooth loss. Not to mention that accidentally biting down on the metal stud can crack a tooth!
You know that snacking on sweets is bad for your teeth, but many are guilty of this bad habit. Gummy candy is especially harmful for your teeth because it sticks in the teeth, promoting tooth decay if you don’t brush your teeth immediately. Let us not forget sodas and sports drinks: that are not only high in sugar, but contain acids that attack the enamel of your teeth.
Sugar can be hidden in the most unsuspecting places – like cough drops. Cough drops are loaded with sugar that reacts with bacteria in your dental plaque, converting it into acid that eats away at tooth enamel, causing cavities.
Snacking is bad – not only for your figure, but your dental health too! Snacking produces less saliva than a proper meal which tends to let bits of food stick to your teeth longer, causing more damage. Starchy food, like potato chips, is the worst offender: the starches react with the bacteria in your dental plaque that break it down into acid which causes tooth enamel to erode.
Coffee and vine are also bad for your dental health. These drinks contain acid, and can in addition cause unsightly teeth discoloration. Surprisingly, sparkling water and orange juice are also acidic!
Even the smallest things can cause big problems over time. Bad dental habits are sometimes caught only after the damage is already done!