Most people usually go about their daily routine without really giving much thought to how their activities and meal choices affect their dental health. You might be surprised to find out that a habit you have is actually doing a lot of harm to your pearly whites.
- Consuming too much sugar — soda, candies, ice cream, cakes, and other sugary food and drinks are number one villains in damaging teeth. This is because the acid-producing bacteria in your mouth consume sugar, then the acids eat away at tooth enamel.
- Smoking — nicotine causes your pearly whites to turn yellow. Cigarettes also cause oral cancer and bad breath. If you don’t smoke but chew tobacco, your dental health is still in danger because the tobacco and carcinogens stay in your mouth for a long time since they come in direct contact with your gums and soft tissues.
- Indulging in acidic drinks and food — if you love sucking lemons, drinking carbonated drinks, or taking a lot of coffee, don’t be surprised if you will eventually end up with brittle teeth. Taking food and drinks with high acidity lead to the loss of enamel and the decay of your gum line.
- Ignoring your oral hygiene — skipping dental appointments may seem like a good idea initially because you’re too busy or you feel you aren’t having any dental problems. But you need to have regular visits to your dentists in Cape Town or in your locality at least once a year to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. This is also so any signs of damage can be identified early on and you can prevent worsening the problem. You also need to take better care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and gargling with an antiseptic or antibacterial mouth wash after every meal.
- Biting on hard objects — fingernails, ice cubes, pencils, and eyeglasses are just some of the things people tend to chew on when they are deep in thought or nervous, or just out of plain habit. However, this can damage tooth enamel and cause further problems to already cracked or chipped teeth.
- Sucking thumbs — if your child is still doing this, slowly train him to stop. It can cause a misalignment of teeth, which leads to difficulty breathing and chewing.
- Using your teeth for other activities other than eating — opening a bag of chips, unscrewing a bottle cap, or cutting packing tape—all these cause you to place unnecessary pressure on your pearly whites and can cause them to crack or shift. Your teeth are for chewing food and are not to be used as tools.
- Grinding and jaw clenching — this can damage dental work and cause fractures in your teeth. Make sure to ask your dentist what could be causing these habits as they are sometimes symptoms of underlying health conditions.
- Not drinking enough water — not staying hydrated causes saliva to dry up and bacteria to form, so drink up. Swishing water can also help wash away food particles, acid, and sugar stuck on and between your pearly whites.
- Overcleaning your teeth — brushing too vigorously can irritate your gums, cause cavities, wear down enamel, and make your pearly whites sensitive to cold. Use a toothbrush approved by your local dental association that has bristles which are soft enough not to cause damage, but firm enough to remove plaque. Also, be careful not to poke or cut your gums when using a toothpick or flossing.
Don’t wait until you have done irreparable damage to your dental health, pick up better habits now.