There are many factors that can contribute to an unhealthy mouth. Many people plan their day without thinking about their oral hygiene. What they don’t realize is that certain foods, beverages, and activities can wreak havoc on your smile. Aside from not brushing or flossing regularly, there are several sneaky habits that can lead to tooth and gum damage.
5 Habits That Damage Your Teeth:
Acidic Foods and Drinks
Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, juices, and vinegar, can weaken your teeth, resulting in acid erosion. This is the thinning and eventual destruction of the top layer of your teeth, the enamel. Acid erosion cannot be reversed and may lead to extreme tooth sensitivity, pain, and decay.
- In addition, consuming too much sugar can also weaken your enamel. Avoid foods with excess sugar, like candy or dried fruit.
- Soda, whether it is diet or not, bathes your teeth in acid and chemicals.
- Alcohol also erodes teeth as well as dries out your entire mouth, reducing saliva production and increasing risk for decay.
Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth
The main contributors of this habit are usually anxiety or stress. What makes this habit so bad is that most patients do not realize they are even doing it. If this bad habit is not broken, teeth can grow thinner and eventually crack, pain in the jaw and mouth muscles can lead to headaches, and chewing may become difficult.
- Just the same, using your teeth to open bottles, tear off tags, or open plastic bags can all damaging.
Over Brushing Your Teeth
This is usually in reference to patients using a toothbrush that is too hard, which can lead to abrasion. Abrasion is the recession of the gum line and can eventually lead to pain, gum sensitivity, and cavities. If abrasion has been occurring for several years, gum surgery might be needed to fix any gum recession.
Using Non-Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is critical in preventing tooth decay and restoring minerals in damaged tooth structures.
- Fluoride in very large doses can be toxic, however the amount in fluoride toothpaste is nowhere near the toxicity level.
We all know smoking is bad for your lungs and nervous system. But what about your teeth? Alongside many other adverse effects, smoking is directly linked to gum disease. Untreated gum disease progresses into advanced periodontitis, with symptoms that include significant bone loss and loosening of the teeth.
- Nicotine also yellows teeth and can lead to oral cancer.
Most of us have one or more of these habits but the good news is you don’t have to give up all the things you love. The best thing you can do is visit your dentist regularly to identify and treat any of these conditions before they get worse. Contact our office today, and let the Smile spa team show you what you need to do to combat those bad habits.