From crunching on ice at a Houston Texans game to using your canines to open your child’s snack, there are many habits that can severely damage teeth. Here are 7 things that can damage your teeth and your overall oral health.
While it’s critical to brush your teeth thoroughly, twice a day, it’s important to avoid brushing too often or too hard. Brushing your teeth more than three or four times a day can wear down the tooth’s enamel and brushing your teeth with excessive pressure can push gums back, exposing the roots of your teeth. Your roots can be exposed to cavities and receding gums can increase your risk of periodontal disease.
If you have your tongue, cheeks, lips, or other parts of your mouth pierced, you are increasing the risk for infection. The holes in your mouth are prone to becoming inflamed or infected, which can easily spread to your gums and cause tooth damage. The actual piercings can break your teeth if you bite on them and can damage fillings, causing unnecessary work in the future.
Opening Things with Your Teeth
It’s so tempting to use your teeth to rip open the ketchup packets that won’t budge or pop open a bottle. However, this can crack or break your teeth, so reach for scissors or a bottle opener instead and spare your teeth from the excruciating pain with breakage.
Chewing Ice Cubes
While it may seem obvious, it’s easy to unconsciously crunch on ice cubes when you finish your drink. However, this can easily break your teeth. If you have fillings, you’re even more vulnerable to tooth damage when chewing on ice cubes because your tooth is already weaker with a filling.
Brushing Too Soon
Acidic foods and beverages, like citrus fruits and wine, weaken tooth enamel. If you brush too soon, you can further damage your enamel and spread the acid around more of your teeth. Wait for thirty minutes, rinse your mouth out with water, and then brush and floss.
Not Replacing Your Toothbrush
It’s critical to replace your toothbrush at least every three months. The bristles wear down and the toothbrush harbors the bacteria from your teeth, putting your oral health at risk. While it’s not critical that you throw out a toothbrush after you’re sick (you’ve built up antibodies to the illness), it can be a good practice to keep others from accidentally using your toothbrush and becoming infected.
Rinsing with Water After Brushing
If you’re prone to developing cavities, you shouldn’t rinse your mouth out with water. The water washes away the fluoride from your toothpaste, which helps strengthen tooth enamel. If you must rinse out your mouth, use as little water as possible or use a mouthwash with fluoride.
Remember the three best habits for your teeth: brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist twice a year. For more information about damaging habits or to schedule a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas today. Our experienced staff is dedicated to providing you and your family with the best dental care, including tips for the best dental habits.