When it comes to your oral health, you can never be too careful. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you’d be amazed to know that there are many things we do which can damage our teeth, many times without our realization. By knowing the bad habits which are hurting your teeth, you can make sure that you retain a beautiful smile and pearly white teeth.
Nothing can be more damaging to your teeth than the habit of smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smoking weakens your body’s ability to fight infection by promoting the growth of bacteria which cause disease. As a result, smokers have a two times higher risk of developing gum disease. Not only this, the more cigarettes you smoke, the higher will be the risk of dental infections. Smoking also lowers the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream, thereby affecting the ability of our bodies to heal from infections.
In addition to gum problems, smoking can also ruin your smile and facial esthetics. The tobacco and tar present in cigarettes can stain your teeth very quickly. These chemicals penetrate into the deeper parts of the teeth, and make stain removal difficult, even with regular brushing.
Brushing Too Hard
Many people think that by using greater force during brushing, they will get cleaner teeth and healthier gums. This is not true. In fact, brushing your teeth too hard can prove to be detrimental for your teeth. When you apply excessive force during brushing, the outer protective enamel layer of your teeth is gradually damaged. When there is sufficient damage to the enamel layer, you will start feeling that your teeth have become sensitive to hot or cold foods. Not only this, but your teeth will also become vulnerable to the development of teeth cavities.
Excessive too-hard brushing can also damage your gums by causing gum recession. When this happens, your gums start moving downwards from their normal position, thereby exposing the underlying root surface. As a result, not only will you feel that your teeth have become even more sensitive, but you will have higher chances of having cavities on the roots.
Grinding your Teeth
Many people tend to grind their teeth during stressful situations. Although it may not cause any damage to your teeth if it is done transiently, it can prove to detrimental for your teeth if you make it a habit. According to the American Sleep Association, tooth grinding, or bruxism affects about 10 million adult population in the US. When you grind your teeth excessively, your teeth come under a lot of pressure. As a result, the prolonged habit of teeth grinding can destroy the outer enamel layer and lead to sensitivity and higher chances of development of teeth cavities.
Not only this, but tooth grinding also puts pressure on the jaw joints. People who have a habit of grinding their teeth, especially during sleep often have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems such as clicking, difficult or painful mouth opening and jaw joint dislocation.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Many people tend to use their teeth as tools. When it comes to breaking off a tag from clothing or unscrewing bottle tops, we often find our teeth to serve as a convenient tool. But the fact is that our teeth are meant for doing three main things; eating, speaking and improving our smile. We must not consider our teeth as pliers, bottle openers or hooks. Using your teeth as a tool can result in spontaneous fractures, cracks or even tooth loss.
Biting your nails not only shows that your worried or anxious, but it can also damage your teeth. When you habitually bite your nails, it will gradually destroy the outer enamel layer of your teeth. Secondly, with nail-biting, you have higher chances of cracking or chipping your teeth during the process.
Excess Intake of Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks or those which contain high amounts of sugar are extremely dangerous for your teeth. The acidic content and the sugars in the drinks increase the acidity inside the oral cavity. As a result, the minerals move out from your teeth into the saliva and make them softer and vulnerable to the development of the teeth cavities.
if you use a toothpick properly, then it won’t cause any damage to your teeth. But if you’re not careful with it while removing food debris, a toothpick can damage your teeth and gums. The sharp edge of a toothpick can pierce through the gum tissues, causing bleeding and leading to gum inflammation and recession. Ultimately, it can make your teeth sensitive to intake of hot or cold drinks.
Don’t Chew on Ice
If you like chewing on ice cubes, stop doing it. Biting on ice cubes may seem like a harmful habit, but it is actually quite dangerous for your teeth. Actually, ice cubes are crystalline in nature, just like the tooth enamel. So, when you bite on a crystal with a crystalline tooth structure, you’ll end damaging your teeth. So, it’s better than you use a blender to crush the ice.
Our teeth help us in eating, speaking and also in making us look good. However, some habits which may seemingly be harmless can prove to be extremely damaging for our teeth. Therefore, it is important that we become aware of habits which damage our teeth and oral health and avoid them as much as possible so that we can enjoy a beautiful smile and good oral health.