Habits That Put Your Dental Health at Risk
Posted on April 19, 2016 in General Dentistry
Many common preferences and habits can jeopardize the health, function, and appearance of the teeth and gums. From ingrained behaviors to our favorite beverages and snacks, it is important to be fully aware of the effects our actions and choices can have on our oral health.
Actions such as participating in certain sports without a mouthguard, playing with metal tongue piercings, and using teeth as tools can all put the teeth in unnecessary danger. Protecting and preserving the teeth from potential hazards can help prevent chips, cracks, and wear. A few helpful suggestions for avoiding tooth damage in these instances may be to see a dentist for a custom mouthguard, switching out metal tongue jewelry with a plastic alternative, and using proper tools for opening bottles and other packaging.
Whether done consciously or subconsciously, the following behaviors and habits can harm the teeth and, in some cases, affect jaw, bite, and/or tooth alignment:
- Grinding teeth and jaw clenching: See a dentist who can assess the degree of your problem and help fit you with a custom mouthguard to prevent clenching and grinding during sleep.
- Thumb sucking, nail biting, and chewing on pens and pencils: Often these behaviors are nervous or self-soothing habits. You may want to consider becoming more mindful of these activities and take steps to diminish their frequency.
- Chewing on ice: Switch from ice cubes to ice chips to help minimize the potential for damage.
Some foods, drinks, and other consumption habits take a significant toll on the teeth. High levels of sugars, acidity, and/or excessive dryness are notorious for harming enamel, staining teeth, and encouraging decay. The following list contains foods, liquids, and eating habits that may lead to tooth damage:
- Cough drops
- Gummy candy
- Soda (sugar-free and regular)
- Fruit juice
- Sports drinks
- Lemon juice
- Red and white wine
- Constant snacking and binge eating
Try to be aware of how much and how often you are enjoying these delights, and take proper steps toward mitigating their potential for damaging teeth by staying hydrated and brushing after indulging.
Oral Cancer Causers
Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco are the leading causes of oral cancers. Tobacco use is also a cause of teeth stains, decay, and a whole host of negative health effects on the rest of the body. Reducing your dependence on tobacco is always recommended, and quitting altogether is ideal. If you need help quitting, speak with your doctor about helpful tobacco cessation resources that can assist you.
If your teeth have become damaged, stained, decayed, or are just in need of a thorough cleaning, Dr. Michael Kosdon and his friendly team can help. With a comprehensive span of general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry options, they can get your smile looking great and your oral hygiene back on track.