Everybody has habits, conscious or otherwise. And usually, we at least know which ones are good and which are bad. But when it comes to oral health, there are many habits you might find normal that can do real damage to your teeth over time. We at Brodsky Orthodontics are here to inform you of these habits, so you know to avoid them in the future.
- Chewing on Ice: Since ice is natural and sugar-free, many people think it’s harmless to chew on. But crunching down on hard, frozen cubes can chip or crack your teeth, and constantly munching may irritate your mouth’s soft tissue, which can lead to regular toothaches. Next time you want to chew on some cubes, think about sugarless gum instead.
- Sugary Drinks: From soda, to sports drinks, to juices, we all know sweet drinks are bad for our teeth. But in addition to high levels of sugar, soda also contains citric and phosphoric acids that eat away at tooth enamel. It’s no surprise that “Mountain Dew Mouth” in many southern states bares a striking resemblance to the deterioration caused by meth abuse.
- Tongue and Lip Piercings: Tongue and lip piercings provide a hard metal object by your teeth which can crack them if you’re not careful. And rubbing that metal against your gums may even cause gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Plus, your mouth is filled with bacteria, so piercings increase the risk of sores and infections.
- Baby Bottles at Night: It’s never too early to start proper oral care. While your baby may like their bottle in the crib, a baby who falls asleep with a bottle in their mouth could be giving their teeth a sugar bath until morning.
- Playing Sports Without Mouth Guards: When you watch the NBA or NFL you see plenty of players without mouth guards, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. Playing any contact sport without the proper protection can lead to chipped or even knocked out teeth. A mouth guard is worth the five dollar investment.
- Cough Drops: Despite the medical benefits of cough drops, many are loaded with sugar. So while it may soothe your throat to suck on a few of them, make sure to brush your teeth well afterward. Otherwise, you’re substituting one ailment for another one.
- Using Your Mouth As a Swiss Army Knife: While popping open a bottle cap or tearing open plastic packaging with your teeth may seem convenient, every time you do it you run the risk of chipping or cracking your teeth. Keep some scissors or a knife handy instead.
- Potato Chips: Sure, it’s not a sugary food, but potato chips tend to get stuck between your teeth. And since the bacteria in plaque breaks down starchy foods into acids, the food that stays attached to your teeth from these salty snacks can attack your teeth long after you’re done eating.
- Grinding Teeth: Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can happen during the day or while you’re asleep. Typically done in response to too much stress, this grinding can wear down teeth over time. If you think you might be doing it at home, invest in a nighttime mouth guard.
- Drinking Coffee: Now we know this isn’t going to keep you hardcore coffee drinkers from indulging in your habit, but the dark color and acidity of coffee can cause yellowing of your teeth over time. Fortunately, it doesn’t cause any structural damage to your teeth.
- Drinking Wine: Speaking of habits that may be hard to kick, both red and white wines have acidity levels that can be dangerous for your teeth. And after that acid creates rough spots on your teeth, the deep pigments in red wine can seep in and stain your teeth.
So make sure to take care of your teeth, even between visits to Brodsky Orthodontics, and if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, don’t hesitate to call us and ask.