Stressing over oral health is no fun. Not knowing what’s causing tooth decay, cavities, and could lead to a long line of complications is much worse. Know more about what can harm your teeth to take preventive measures that will save you many trips to the dentist.
Here are twelve things that can (and almost always do) harm your teeth.
1. Binge Eating
Binge eating alone does not technically harm your teeth. Processed junk food is almost always the culprit of binge eating sessions. Sugary, high-carbohydrate, and sticky food is terrible on your teeth. Eating through the day, too, is generally bad. The longer the food sticks around, the more acid and bacteria have time to wreak havoc.
2. Chewing Ice
How can water be bad for your teeth? Chomping on ice is proven to create chips, cracks, and wears your teeth down much as a file does to your nails. Sucking on a piece of ice to lubricate your mouth, on the other hand, doesn’t harm your smile at all.
3. Grinding Your Teeth and Clenching Your Jaw
Grinding your teeth may be a habit you’re aware of, a nervous tick, or something you do in your sleep. Grinding and clenching can lead to enamel loss, muscle soreness, and even damage to the bones and ligaments in your jaw.
4. Hard Candy and Soft “Gummy” Candy
It’s well-known that candy doesn’t do your teeth any favors. Hard candy and soft candy have something in common. They both stick around in your mouth for an extended period of time. Sugar loves bacteria, and when given more time, it produces more acids. Tooth decay and gum disease follow as a result. Hard candies, similar to ice, can crack your teeth as well.
5. Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking provides a natural pacifier for many young children. At very young ages, it’s dismissable, but if done for an extended period of time, say, over the years, it can cause severe damage. Alignment problems can lead to a whole host of health issues, including periodontitis, Occlusal Disease, and infections throughout the body.
Smoking, in addition to causing bad breath, stains teeth yellow. This is true of chewing tobacco as well. Smoking cigarettes makes your mouth more acidic, a lesser-known fact, which causes tooth decay.
Wine makes for a primarily underestimated enemy to the health and structure of your teeth, especially red wine, which contains tannins, proven to be very acidic. Alcohol, as well, is metabolized and turns to sugar.
8. Soda (Especially Dark Cola)
Dark cola and soda tend to create cravings for more pop, sugar, and low-quality carbohydrates. All of which are huge contributors to tooth decay. Along with high-sugar, soda and cola are especially acidic.
Coffee is known to stain teeth and make for “coffee breath,” however, it also causes dry mouth and is high in acidity. Most beverages containing caffeine are detrimental to oral health.
10. No Routine Dental Care and or Poor Hygiene
Arguably the most significant contributor to poor oral health is poor hygiene and maintenance. If you’re not brushing two to three times a day, not flossing, or not using mouthwash, then you’re allowing bacteria to build up. More bacteria means more tooth decay and more costly trips to the dentist.
Prevention is your best weapon. Stay on top of hygiene and maintenance, and you’ll give less room for complications to arise. On that note, don’t brush too enthusiastically. Over-brushing your teeth can damage the enamel as well as your gums. Gums can easily be pushed back over time and once they do, they don’t recover.
11. Playing Sports or Activities Without a Mouthguard
Contact sports, high-impact sports, and martial arts can result in severe and sudden trauma. To prevent losing a tooth to a favored past time, invest in a dental-grade mouth guard. Talk to your Montreal dentist, and you can have one tailor-made for your smile.
12. Using Your Teeth as Tools
Your mouth is not a can opener. Resist the urge to show off. It’s not worth chipping or losing a tooth. Avoid the habit of opening packages with your teeth. Last of all, no nail-biting. Chewing fingernails can rot, crack, chip, wear your teeth down, and damage your jaw.