It is human nature to develop habits. They help us to organise our day to day routine, and provide structure in our life. However, some habits can be detrimental, and can cause damage to our body. In this article, we will discuss the bad habits that can cause damage to your teeth, and why you’d be much better off without them.
The following routines or habits are best to be avoided if you wish to keep your pearly whites healthy:
- Grinding teeth (bruxism)
Bruxism, (or better known as grinding of the teeth,) is quite a common problem. This usually affects people during sleep, or those who suffer with anxiety. The result of bruxism is that it can wear down teeth, making them weaker and more sensitive. There are methods which can be adopted to prevent this from happening though, such as wearing a mouth guard when sleeping to prevent you subconsciously grinding your teeth.
- Drinking fizzy or carbonated drinks
Although refreshing and delicious, fizzy drinks are best to be enjoyed in moderation. They are loaded with sugars, which can develop into a coat of acid on your teeth, wearing away the enamel. It is much better to keep hydrated with water or sugar free drinks.
- Chewing when concentrating
This is a very common habit, and can include chewing on pens, pencils or any other object close enough. The idea behind this is that chewing on something can reduce stress and assist with concentration. However, although this habit may often be subconscious, you are causing serious damage to your teeth through doing it, by causing teeth to chip or crack, and irritating the soft tissue inside the teeth. You are much better off chewing on some sugar free gum next time you get the urge!
- Eating sugary treats or snacks
Much like fizzy drinks, sugary treats and snacks can have a really damaging affect on your teeth. They can easily stick to your teeth for hours and cause tooth decay. These treats are best enjoyed few and far between. The best time to be eating them is with a meal, as your mouth produces more saliva, washing away a lot of residue left from the food.
- Brushing your teeth too hard
Brushing your teeth regularly is the best way to keep your mouth healthy. However, through brushing too vigorously, you can actually have the opposite effect. Using harsh bristles and brushing too hard will irritate the gums, and possibly damage the teeth. By gently massaging your gums and teeth when brushing with a softer bristled brush, your mouth will be less irritated and undergo less damage.
Smoking cigarettes can cause huge health problems all over your body, and your mouth is no exception. Smoking can lead to the staining of teeth, gum disease and, if left untreated, periodontal disease. If you are a smoker, consider devising a plan or speaking to your doctor to help you quit.
- Tongue/lip piercings
A relatively modern trend, these piercings can lead to some serious damage to your teeth and gums. Biting down on the stud with tongue piercings can lead to a cracked tooth. These piercings also accumulate a lot of bacteria around them, which can higher the risk of developing an infection or sores. Before you get one of these piercings, its best to discuss the risks with your dentist first.
- Drinking coffee
Coffee can very easily stain your teeth a yellow or brownish hue through over consumption. Luckily, these stains are quite easy to remove through various treatments and methods. If your concerned that your teeth are becoming discoloured or stained, its always best to consult your dentist.
- Nail biting
This habit can be a manifestation of anxiety or nervousness, but can have a very bad impact on your teeth and jaw. Nail biting can lead to the wearing down of teeth, and the jaw to protrude from the pressure placed on it, leading to jaw dysfunction. The best way to avoid this is by distracting your hands and fingers with something tactile, which can be just as useful in reducing stress and anxiety as nail biting.
- Using your teeth incorrectly
By using our teeth as tools to open objects with, or hold items if your hands are full, this can cause serious pressure on your teeth, potentially leading to them cracking or getting chipped. Your mouth was made for eating, not to hold or open things with. Next time you need a hand, ask someone or find something to support you with the task to avoid damage to your teeth.
Cutting out these bad habits will prove very beneficial for your teeth, and can lead to a better lifestyle as well! If you are concerned about your oral health or the condition of your teeth, why not contact Loughborough dentists today to see how we can help you!