How many of these seemingly ordinary things are you doing routinely and without much thought? Try to be mindful of these habits as they can damage your teeth. They may be hard to avoid; however, kicking these habits will benefit both your oral and overall health.
1. Nail biting
Biting your nails when you’re tense, anxious, or bored can result in tooth chipping and jaw issues. Fingernails are also home to a variety of bacteria. To prevent you from biting your nails, keep a stress ball handy to keep your hands busy. If you experience chronic stress, seek the help of a professional.
2. Chewing ice
Yes it’s sugar- and calorie-free. But this habit can still cause damage if the hard ice chips or cracks a tooth leading to tooth sensitivity and an unexpected visit to the dentist for repair. Trade the ice for tooth-friendly alternatives like carrots and apples.
3. Drinking fruit juice
Pure, unsweetened fruit juices may be natural and nutritious, but they contain large amounts of naturally occurring sugar. If you can’t go a day without fruit juice, add water to it to help reduce its sugar content.
4. Drinking coffee
If you drink coffee all day long, eliminating it from your routine will be tough. Coffee, however, causes bad breath. And if you drink it black, you’re susceptible to tooth discoloration. Try to reduce your coffee intake or drink water after each cup. If you’d like to whiten your teeth, book a consultation with your dentist.
5. Drinking pop and sports drinks
They may taste refreshing especially when they’re cold and you’re thirsty, but they do your mouth no good. These beverages are high in sugar which will corrode your tooth enamel. The best way to quench your thirst is with a cool drink of water.
6. Teeth grinding and clenching
Grinding and clenching are damaging to your teeth and jaw. This may be happening in your sleep and you’re unaware of it. You’ll either find out from loved ones who notice or else from your dentist who will see the signs of wear at your next exam. Investing in a nighttime mouthguard may be your best solution to this nocturnal habit.
7. Playing sports with no mouthguard
Participating in sports is awesome for your overall health but can be an oral health risk. You may be faced with a damaging hit from a ball, hockey puck, someone’s elbow, or a face plant. Protect your teeth with a custom sports mouthguard. Unlike those you can buy off the grocery or pharmacy shelf, your dentist can make a mouthguard fitted to your teeth.
8. Using teeth to open packets or bottles
Don’t think of your teeth as a convenient stand-in for scissors or a bottle opener. Only animals without opposable thumbs do that! Seriously, using your teeth to rip, twist, and open any kind of packaging can loosen or fracture your teeth or previous dental work.
9. Snacking throughout the day
Noshing on starchy food like potato chips and sipping sugary beverages all day can lead to dental cavities. Occasional treats like these aren’t bad, but be wary of how much you’re consuming. Also, make it a habit to drink water afterward to help wash away the debris and prevent acids from forming that lead to decay.
10. Chewing on pens
Do you catch yourself doing this sometimes? Perhaps it helps you focus, but it’s a habit that’s non-hygienic and bad for your teeth. A better alternative could be using a fidget toy to help you relax and stay focused.
If you have questions about your oral health, please feel free to contact our team at de Man & Höediono Dentistry. We’re always happy to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.