Could You Be Ruining Your Teeth With These 5 Bad Habits?
Not surprisingly, there are foods and drinks that pose some of the biggest threats to your teeth — and it’s not just desserts, candy and soda.
Foods and drinks that are high in starch or refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, white rice and refined cereals, can also cause plaque buildup that can lead to cavities.
Avoid these 5 habits that can damage your teeth
Our dentist cautions that 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.