Habits That Wreak Havoc on Your Teeth
Chewing on Ice
It’s only water so it’s harmless, or so you might think! But chewing on
hard, frozen cubes can chip or even crack your teeth. And if your mindless crunching irritates the soft tissue inside a tooth, regular toothaches may follow. Hot foods and cold foods can trigger quick, sharp jabs of pain or a toothache that lingers. Next time you get the urge for ice, chew some sugarless gum instead.
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can really wear teeth down over time. Grinding is most often caused by stress and sleeping habits. This makes it hard to control. Avoiding hard foods during the day can reduce pain and damage from this habit. Wearing a mouth guard at night can prevent the damage caused by grinding at night.
Gummy Candy (Including Vitamins)
All sugary treats promote tooth decay. Gummies are extra rough on your teeth! They stick in the teeth, keeping the sugar and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours. If your day just isn’t the same without a gummy critter, pop a couple during a meal instead of as a separate snack. More saliva is produced during meals, which helps rinse away candy bits and acids. Or just be sure to brush after!
Soda & Sports Drinks
Candy isn’t the only vise when it comes to added sugar. Sodas and sports drinks can have 11 teaspoons or more of sugar per serving! On top of that, sodas also contain phosphoric and citric acids, which eat away at tooth enamel. Diet soft drinks let you skip the sugar, but they may have even more acid in the form of the artificial sweeteners.
Opening Things with Your Teeth
Teeth should only be used for eating. We see too many patients with cracked or chipped teeth from opening bottle caps or plastic packaging with their teeth. It may be convenient, but this is one habit that makes dentists cringe. Instead, keep scissors and bottle openers handy.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products, can stain teeth and cause them to fall out as a result of gum disease. Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. If you were looking for one more reason to quit, think of your smile.