10 Habits that Damage Your Teeth

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10 Habits that Damage Your Teeth

Your teeth and mouth are much more important than you may think. Obviously, your teeth play a major role in chewing, but they also keep your jawbone and facial structures strong. The health of your gums can impact your overall health as well. When one or the other is unhealthy or damaged, you risk tooth loss.

So, if you’re trying to make it through life with all your teeth intact, you may want to kick these ten bad habits:

1.    Chewing on ice

Even though the enamel on teeth is the hardest part of the body, it is still susceptible to damage. Chewing on ice cubes can chip or crack your tooth. In some cases, the inside of your tooth can be damaged and cause throbbing or sharp toothaches while eating.

When you feel the urge to chew something, try sugarless gum instead.

2.    Grinding teeth

Anxiety, stress, sleep apnea, and too much caffeine can cause you to grind your teeth during the day or night. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on both your teeth and jaw. If left untreated, you may end up with stumpy teeth or no teeth at all. Most people don’t recognize that they are grinding their teeth. Waking up with a dull headache, jaw pain or stiffness, and/or facial pain can indicate that something is wrong.

Contact your dentist to receive proper treatment for your teeth grinding.

3.    Gummy candy

Bears, worms, rings, and, yes, even vitamins that come in gummy form are one of the worst candies for your teeth. And when you coat them with salt or sugar—yikes!

When you eat gummy candy, the chemicals and bacteria in your mouth turn the sugar into an acid that eats away the enamel on your teeth. This process is called demineralization.

This is especially dangerous when the candy gets stuck between your teeth and creates pockets of acid between your teeth.

4.    Hard candy

Demineralization happens the same way with hard candy as it does with gummy candy. Add in the possibility of chipping your tooth while chewing, and you have a recipe for a dental disaster.

5.    Soda

Both regular and diet sodas contain phosphoric and citric acids that break down tooth enamel. Regular sodas contain up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Combined, the acid and sugar can create dental problems like cavities and erosion.

To prevent these problems, limit yourself to one soft drink a day, use a straw, and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.

6.    Using your teeth as a tool

How often do you use your teeth to open a snack for your child? Or bite your nails? Repeat after me: Teeth are not tools.

Again, the enamel on your teeth is strong but simple things like opening a package and biting your nails can cause your teeth to crack or chip.

You can also damage your gums and cause an infection. Keep scissors and nail clipper handy so you can avoid these oral health problems.

7.    Sports drinks

Although not as detrimental as soda, sports drinks contain an amount of sugar that is harmful for your teeth. Stick to water while working out or during sporting events. Its nature’s most important nutrient.

8.    Coffee

Coffee is the main culprit of yellow teeth because of its dark color and acidity. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only way coffee damages teeth.

Over time, the acidity in coffee can weaken the enamel on your teeth. This can lead to cavities, decay, and sensitivity.

9.    Juice

Many fruit juices contain as much sugar as soda. Find a brand that doesn’t use added sugars or dilute your cup of juice by adding some water.

10. Smoking

The chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products reduces the amount of saliva your mouth produces. This creates a perfect environment for plaque and tartar to develop around the gumline. When left untreated, you are likely to develop gum disease.

Smoking also interferes with blood circulation, potentially leads to oral cancer, discolors your teeth, and causes bad breath.

Talk to your dentist today about ways to reduce your risk for gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.

Talk to a Dentist Today

To ensure your smile is healthy, schedule a regular dental cleaning with your dentist today.

Looking for a dentist in the Grant Park area? Contact our office at 404-328-7177 to schedule an appointment with our friendly dentist.

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