15 Daily Habits That Wreck Your Teeth
1. Nail Biting
This nervous habit can do real damage to your teeth as nails are a cesspool for pathogenic bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Biting nails may also lead to jaw dysfunction.
2. Chewing on Ice
Munching on hard ice cubes can chip or even crack your teeth. If your mindless chomping irritates the soft tissue inside a tooth, regular toothaches will follow. Next time you get the munchies, chew some sugarless gum instead.
3. Grinding and Clenching
This habit occurs most often when one is stressed, anxious, and/or while sleeping. Grinding can lead to serious consequences such as teeth cracking, muscle tenderness, and joint pain. Avoiding hard foods or wearing a mouthguard can reduce this damage.
4. Chewing on Pencils
When concentrating on work or studies, many would chew on pencils. Like chewing on ice, this habit can also chip or crack your teeth. A better option is sugarless gum which will trigger the flow of saliva to protect your teeth against enamel-eating acids.
5. Using Teeth As a Tool
Some people use their teeth as a go-to tool for removing bottle caps, cutting tape or opening a bag of snacks.This habit can crack your teeth, injure your jaw, or make you accidentally swallow something you shouldn't. Remember, your teeth were made for eating.
6. Tongue Piercings
This trend comes at a cost to your health. Tongue piercings may chip or break your teeth. They can also rub against the gums and cause permanent gum recession, which can lead to sensitivity and even tooth loss.
Smoking dries out the mouth and increases the amount of bacteria buildup around your teeth. As a result, the risk for gum disease increase by 50%. Smoking can also weaken your immune system.
8. Sports Without a Mouth Guard
Dental injuries are a serious concern in sports. It's estimated that 5 million teeth are knocked out every year through sports. Mouth guards can help protect your teeth, lips, tongue, face, and jaw from impact sports.
9. Brushing Too Hard
Brushing with a hard toothbrush, or brushing too hard can damage the gums, leaving your teeth exposed and prone to infection. A soft and gentle scrub is enough to remove the plaque and bacteria.
10. Baby Bottles in Bed
Bottles of milk at bedtime leave your child's teeth bathing in sugar, which will then turn into plaque and bacteria that break down tooth enamel, resulting in rampant decay. So parents better leave the bottles out of the crib.
11. Constant Snacking
Grazing all day, especially on sugary foods and drinks, means that food debris and plaque sit on your teeth for a prolonged time, which can produce acids that attack the outer shell of your teeth.
12. Drinking Too Much Coffee
Too much coffee leads to staining and yellowing of the teeth. When caffeine interferes with saliva flow, it can lead to tooth decay and a dry mouth. Drink water instead.
13. Drinking Sports Beverages
Sports drinks contain lots of sugar and acids which encourages bacteria to proliferate in your mouth, causing tooth decay and dental enamel erosion. Brush your teeth afterwards or just switch to water.
14. Sucking on Cough Drops and Throat Candies
These sugar-filled candies do ease a sore throat, but the sugar can react with the plaque in your mouth, which will then produce acid that damages your teeth and enamel. Look for sugar-free options instead.
15. Staining Teeth with Wine Tannins
Both red and white wine contain acid and tannins that help bind stains to teeth, which is why many wine enthusiasts have dark spots and patches on their teeth. So before picking up that bottle, consider the impact.