Avoid These 5 Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth
You should not do the following because it can seriously damage your teeth and gums:
Misuse your teeth. Chewing ice, hard candy, pens/pencils, eyeglasses or fingernails or using your teeth to open packages can be harmful because you can break or chip a tooth.
Clench your jaw (also called bruxism). This can wear down your teeth and gums over time. It can also cause craze lines or fractures. Bruxism can sometimes go undetected and undiagnosed because many people either don’t feel the symptoms or don’t realize they clench. Bruxism can become a serious problem if left untreated. Have your dentist evaluate your teeth and gums for signs of bruxism.
Brush teeth too aggressively. Using bristles that are too firm for your gums or pressing too hard when you brush can also wear down your teeth and gums over time. It’s better to use a lighter hand and take time to brush thoroughly.
Use tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, cigars or cigarettes. These are not only bad for your overall health, but also your teeth and gums. Tobacco puts you at higher risk for periodontal disease, because it reduces blood flow to your gums. It also causes bad breath, decreased saliva flow and higher tooth decay rate, and can cause oral cancer. It can ruin the appearance of your teeth, too.
Suck thumbs or fingers. Children ages 5+ who suck their thumbs can cause misalignment of their teeth, which can result in more serious problems as they age.
Overall advice for healthy teeth
Our dentist offers a few more suggestions for maintaining dental and oral health, as well as a healthy smile. He always recommends a nutritious, balanced diet. Even things that can harm your teeth are fine to eat in moderation, he says. However, they should be followed up with water and good oral hygiene. Second, develop a good relationship with a dentist and hygienist you trust, and see them routinely. Don’t neglect your teeth because of finances, or lack of time or resources. “It is always easier to be proactive rather than reactive,” he says. “A dental emergency can be painful, stressful and expensive.”