From a young age, you were taught the importance of dental health. Undoubtedly, your parents encouraged you to brush your teeth regularly, floss often, and visit your dentist often for regular checkups or teeth cleaning. All these have become part of your routine, which helps promote your dental health. But as lives become busier and schedules become more hectic, it’s easy to develop different bad habits that can adversely affect your dental health.
From your choice of food and beverages to how you treat and make use of your teeth, all these can impact your dental health and bring potential threats in the long term. Unfortunately, you may not even be aware that certain actions are harmful to your teeth despite following a dental healthcare routine.
Therefore, as you become more aware of these certain bad habits, you must try to steer clear of them and change your practices to protect your dental health from more damage.
Here are five everyday habits that can harm your oral health:
1) Eating and Drinking Sugary Treats and Beverages
It’s normal to crave sugary treats and drinks every now and then. However, foods and beverages like gum, chewy candies, soda, wine, and sports drinks are among the worst foods for your teeth, especially when consumed in large amounts. All these are rich in acid and sugar, which feed the bacteria living in your teeth and cause your enamel to start thinning. Over time, this process leaves your teeth more susceptible to gum infection, cavities, and toothache.
To protect your teeth from these harmful foods, it’s best to limit your consumption of all of them. If possible, you can start restricting yourself from consuming these sugary foods and drinks and switching to healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables.
2) Using Your Teeth as a Tool
The primary function of your teeth is to help break down your food by chewing and breaking them into pieces. However, some people tend to use their teeth for other purposes, like opening a bottle, tearing a sachet, opening a bag of chips, and more. All these may sound simple, but they can actually do more harm to your teeth than you realize. Perhaps they might even cause you a sudden trip to the dentist.
Utilizing your teeth as an opening tool can destroy them and cause them to be misaligned, cracked, chipped off, or entirely broken. To avoid such a situation, avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing your food. As much as possible, only use the proper tools to open things like a bottle opener, a knife, or a pair of scissors.
3) Biting Your Nails
Nail-biting is one of the most common habits people have, regardless of age. On the other hand, some people only bite their nails when they’re nervous or in a nerve-wracking situation. Regardless of whether you engage in this habit every day or only when you’re anxious, biting your nails can significantly harm your teeth.
Continuously biting your nails can destroy the appearance and shape of your teeth. Then, as its appearance starts deteriorating, you’ll also experience toothaches. This habit can also cause your dental enamel to begin thinning, making them more susceptible to the effects of bacteria. To ensure your gums and teeth remain strong and healthy, it’s best to avoid such habits and start practicing self-control. If you’re a parent, help your kids achieve whiter and stronger teeth by assisting them in breaking their habit of biting nails as soon as you can.
4) Smoking or Using Tobacco
One of the deadliest and most harmful habits that people have is smoking or using tobacco. You probably know how smoking is detrimental to your overall health, especially to your lungs. Smoking has already been proven to cause life-threatening diseases like cancers, tuberculosis, and more.
But aside from that, smoking and using tobacco can also bring adverse effects to your dental health. Regular smoking can cause you to develop gum diseases, stain your teeth due to nicotine, and worst, may cause oral cancer. So, if you want to prolong your life and preserve your dental health and smile at the same time, then it’s best to quit smoking entirely.
5) Chewing Ice
Chewing ice may appear like a harmless and innocent habit at first. But the truth is that chewing ice can actually bring harmful effects to your throat and teeth. Your teeth are not meant to chew and crush hard objects like ice. That’s why ice should only be crushed and ground using blenders and other ice grinder tools.
Some people might find chewing ice a pleasurable activity, but this will only damage your dental health. You can end up injuring your gums, cracking some of your teeth, and damaging your dental enamel. So, save yourself from expensive teeth repairs and avoid chewing ice cubes.
These harmful daily habits can damage your teeth and cause you to lose them forever. Even if you replace them with various implants, the quality of your dental health will never be the same again. So, although giving up on these behaviors can be challenging at first, try slowly moving away from them and consult your dentist regularly to help you put a stop to these harmful habits.