There are a number of common habits that can cause harm to your teeth that you may not know about. For example, drinking certain beverages, chewing on things like ice or popcorn kernels, smoking, and lip or tongue piercings.
Casual everyday things, such as, not wearing a mouth guard, hard bristled brushes and using your teeth to open things can damage your teeth in many ways.
Ask about a custom mouth guard at your next visit!
- Mouth guards are recommended for anyone participating in contact sports. They protect your teeth from cracks and fractures.
- Tongue or lip piercings can chip and crack your teeth. They can also contribute to gum recession, this is when gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, potentially leaving root surface of the tooth exposed.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause and worsen periodontal disease (gum disease), which can lead to tooth loss.
- Hard bristled brushes and brushing too hard can cause gum recession too, revealing a softer layer of your teeth that erodes easier than enamel. Soft or extra soft toothbrushes are a better option.
- Using your teeth as tools to tear open things like bags or bottles can fracture or crack your teeth.
- Grinding your teeth can cause wear, fractures, and jaw pain. A night guard can help with nighttime grinding.
- Lemons are acidic, and if you make it a habit to suck on them often they can erode the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities.
- Cough drops can be as harmful to your teeth as hard candy. Many cough drop brands have high levels of sugar. When that sugar breaks down it results in acid that can eat away at your teeth.
- Chewing on non-food items like pens or pencils, biting your nails and chewing ice can all lead to fractures or cracks. Chewing sugarless gum is a better option if you need to chew on something.
- Sugary beverages like soda, sports drinks, and fruit juices promote the growth of bacteria that leads to sensitivity and decay. Diet soda may seem like the healthier option, as it is lower in sugar, but it is also acidic and can cause cavities.