From chewing ice to eating highly staining foods, there are many activities that prove to be poor choices for teeth. If you do chew ice, you can hear the grind of the tooth enamel, and this is a clear sign something is wrong. This bad habit and others can cause permanent structural damage to teeth and increase the risk of severe dental problems. Here at Greenspoint we want all smiles to be fresh and healthy, so be aware of these bad habits so you can break them and make good choices. You can share the news with family and friends that might share your hard-to-break habits.
Sugar consumption is unavoidable, and is actually necessary for a healthy diet. However, many Americans are consuming sugar in ways too extreme for our teeth to handle, and in such copious quantities that the natural defenses against plaque cannot keep up. For example, candies (especially hard candies that stick to the surface of teeth) and chocolate get stuck in the teeth and also leave behind sugar residue. Sugar is consumed not only by you, but by acid-eating bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are responsible for eating away at the healthy enamel on teeth. Be kind to your mouth and help protect its strongest defense against gingivitis and gum disease.
Soda is the number-one enemy to most dentists. These days, many Americans consume at least one soda a day and use it as a substitute for water, which is actually a benefit to teeth. By reducing the consumption of helpful substances and replacing them with sugar-filled acids, the teeth are doused in sugar and the enamel wears away. Even sugar-free sodas are harmful. Other drinks such as alcohol are bad for the body and teeth. While a drink occasionally will not affect your mouth, it is essential to brush your teeth afterwards. Alcohol also dries out your mouth and reduces the production of bacteria-killing saliva. Without saliva, bacteria is free to grow in your mouth and will turn into plaques and harmful gingivitis. Between drinks, consume water which will help you rinse out your teeth.
Using your teeth as tools
The teeth are to be protected, not abused. We’re all guilty of occasionally using our teeth in ways they were not designed to, whether it be to hold items when our hands are full, or to open bottles. Opening bottles is actually one of the most harmful acts to teeth, which puts undue pressure on the teeth and gums. Repeated actions can cause the teeth to loosen or move shape.
Chewing on items other than food
Despite their ability to nicely grind on things, your teeth should be used to bite any other substances. Many Americans bite pen caps, hair pins, or ice. All of these substances are hard and grind against the tooth enamel. You are basically putting unneeded friction on your teeth, which will wear and tear the surface. Ice can be so bad it may actually crack teeth.
Some of these actions may have already caused tooth damage that is not visible and can only be corrected in a dentist’s office. To make sure your smile is still healthy, contact Greenspoint for a consultation. Give us a call to find out more bad habits and how you can avoid putting your teeth at risk.