Bad Dental Habits that Might Surprise You
Most people associate poor dental habits with infrequent brushing and flossing. In reality, however, a number of behaviors can lead to tooth problems, especially when they become everyday habits. If you want to preserve your teeth for years to come, learn which activities to limit or avoid.
- Eating ice: Hard, frozen cubes can crack or chip teeth, while also irritating soft tissue.
- Playing sports without a mouth guard: Every year, countless athletes experience dental damage or tooth loss as a result of contact sports.
- Nighttime bottles: When parents give their babies a bedtime bottle of formula, milk or juice, they are paving the way for tooth decay.
- Tongue piercings: A metal stud can crack a tooth and irritate gums. They also increase the risk of sores and infections.
- Grinding teeth: Also known as bruxism, this unconscious habit can damage teeth and cause jaw and neck pain.
- Cough drops: Many lozenges are loaded with sugar, which promotes plaque buildup.
- Gummy candy: All sugary sweets promote tooth decay; however, gummies are much worse, because they stick between teeth.
- Drinking soda: With an average of 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving, soda exposes the teeth to harmful acids which can damage enamel.
- Using your teeth as a tool: Opening plastic packaging and bottle caps with your teeth can instantly crack and chip teeth.
- Snacking on chips: Chips are notorious for sticking between teeth. They also contain starch, which bacteria convert into plaque.
- Chewing on pens and pencils: This can also cause tooth damage, especially when you do it regularly.
- Smoking: Tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. It also promotes gum disease which can result in tooth loss.
- Drinking wine, coffee and tea: These beverages contain tannins, which can stain your teeth.
More than Just Vanity
Missing teeth and yellow stains can negatively impact the way we feel about ourselves. At the same time, dental problems have also been linked to a number of health issues, including cardiovascular disease. While a causal relationship has not yet been established, numerous studies have shown a clear link between gum disease and dangerous medical issues. If you haven't been prioritizing your dental health, take steps now before it's too late.