The bad habits damaging your teeth

The bad habits damaging your teeth

March 9, 2020 12:33 pm Published by
  • Smoking

This is the number 1 habit to break! We all know the stats about cancer, but many people don’t realise that smoking can have a big impact on your teeth also. As well as yellowing and staining of the enamel, smoking increases the risk of developing oral cancer, and over time, it impairs your immune system. This means that any dental procedures you need have a higher chance of failure. Smoking e-cigarettes is one option for weaning yourself off the habit

  • Snacking

Grazing on food through the day, rather than having fixed meal times, means there’s a constant supply of food in the mouth for bacteria. These bacteria produce acid that damages teeth. The problem becomes worse if you are eating sugary treats or fast food – the kind of food that bacteria love most. It’s better to stick to regular mealtimes, with lots of healthy ingredients like pulses and whole grains. If you must have a snack, opt for carrot sticks or another raw vegetable to keep sugar intake down.

  • Overbrushing

If you’re a careful toothbrusher, and always make sure you get two minutes of brushing in twice a day – well done to you! However, it’s important to make sure that you aren’t overdoing it. Over-zealous brushing can literally rub off tooth enamel, particularly if you are using a hard-bristled brush. It can also damage gums. Be aware of your brushing technique, and opt for a short back-and-forth motion while brushing. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush if you tend to scrub.

  • Nail biting

Nibbling damages your teeth, particularly if you have hard nails. Over time you might notice little chips and cracks on the very edges of your front teeth. This wearing down of the protective outer enamel can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity. The tension from clenching your jaw in a fixed position can cause pain as well. Try bitter nail polish – or get your nails nicely painted at a salon, and you won’t want to spoil the result.

  • Tooth grinding

Known in the medical world as bruxism, this habit can have a really alarming effect on your teeth – literally wearing down the enamel. It can be caused simply by stress, or sometimes by a misaligned jaw or teeth. it usually happens at night, so you might not even be aware you’re doing it. If you wake up with headaches or jaw pain you should see your dentist, who can check for signs of damage and suggest remedies. Bear in mind that occasional grinding is normal and is not a cause for concern!

  • Handy tools

We’ve all done it – you have a packet or taped-up jar in your hand, and you just can’t find a pair of scissors. Why not just use your teeth to quickly rip it open? However, it’s really important to resist the urge to use your teeth as handy tools. While tooth enamel is pretty tough, it’s not going to be a match for the range of plastic and other hard materials out there. Over time, using teeth as tools can create small nicks and grooves in the edges, creating a slightly ragged appearance, or even chip the tooth entirely.

  • Baby bottles

Many babies find a bottle soothing and it’s tempting to put them to bed with a bottle for a little peace and quiet. However, continual exposure to milk or juice in this way can lead to tooth decay, as bacteria in the mouth are given a constant supply of food. Better to stick to water, or just avoid having bottles at bedtime completely.

  • Mouth piercings

The last 20 years has seen a growing trend in tongue and lip piercings. If you care about your teeth, it’s best to avoid these – the frequent contact of metal with tooth enamel isn’t a battle your teeth are going to win! Prolonged contact can lead to fractured or worn tooth enamel.

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