We all have vices, but some of them could really do serious damage to your teeth. While there isn’t much that cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry can’t fix, why risk the condition of your pearly whites when you know better? Here are 9 habits that are ruining your teeth.
- Chewing on Ice
Ice is water. How bad could it be for your teeth? The content isn’t the problem, it’s the consistency and temperature. Frozen pieces of ice can chip or crack your teeth. Think about a blender – it needs special blades to crush ice. Don’t try to be a blender.
- Chewing on Anything But Food
Ice is bad enough on teeth, but chewing on pens, pencils, or eyeglasses are mindless activities that can lead to seriously damaged teeth, especially if your teeth are already worn or chipped. You’re compromising your tooth structure with every grinding, stressed out chomp. Opt for sugarless gum instead to trigger the flow of saliva – a good thing for your teeth and a defender against acids.
- Sucking on Hard Candy
Peppermints can help combat bad breath and cough drops can soothe a sore throat and a lollipop can keep you from snacking on other foods, but constantly bathing your teeth is sugar isn’t healthy. The plaque that forms from these habits coats your teeth and, eventually, the acidity of the sugar eats away at your tooth enamel. Brush and floss well to bathe your teeth the right way.
- Using Your Teeth to Open Things
When a package just won’t tear open and there is no sharp instrument on hand to get the job done, when there’s need for a bottle opener, some people really sink their teeth into the job, putting themselves at risk of cracked or chipped teeth. Be patient and wait until you can find scissors or a knife to remove clothing tags or open bags.
By now, everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your health. But it doesn’t hurt to issue a reminder. Not only does nicotine stain your teeth and potentially lead to gum disease, tobacco – in cigarettes or chewing tobacco – can cause cancer of the mouth, tongue, and lips.
- Drinking Soda
Soda isn’t good for you. The amount of sugar in soda alone is unhealthy, but the acid bath it gives your teeth – especially for the drink-all-day soda folks – leads to tooth decay and cavities. Even diet soft drinks are a no-no because the artificial sweeteners they contain are still acidic.
- Drinking Coffee
Your daily cup (or constant cup) of joe might be a necessity to help you get through work and life, but coffee’s dark color and acidity can stain your teeth and leave them yellow. Professional teeth whitening can often solve this problem, which is nice to know especially if you have a hard-to-kick java habit.
- Drinking Wine
Whether red or white, wine is acidic and it eats away at your tooth enamel. Red wine is also a problem in that its tannins stick to your teeth, causing staining (even more likely when you have already-vulnerable and porous tooth enamel). Alcohol also dries out your mouth which reduces saliva production, and you need that saliva to rinse your teeth and prevent bacteria from accumulating.
- Relying on Sports Drinks
If you need to rehydrate after a workout, turn to water instead of sports drinks. They may be chock full of electrolytes but they’re also swimming with sugar, creating a barrage of acid on your tooth enamel.
If your habits have become harmful to your health, especially your oral health, contact to Dr. Ken Cirka at Philadelphia Dentistry to discuss your teeth-whitening, cosmetic dentistry, and preventive care options.