Habits that ruin your teeth

Habits that ruin your teeth

Health tips | 14 Apr 2020

Not brushing or flossing are not the only bad habits for teeth. We have highlighted secret culprits that are the main causes for ruining your teeth. From sipping sugary drinks to chewing on ice chips, here are common habits that are terrible for your teeth. 

Nail biting 

One of the toughest habits to kick is nail biting. Nail biting may seem harmless and the only thing you are harming are your nails. But biting your nails can cause chipped teeth and jaw dysfunction. There are many ways to kick this habit, there are bitter tasting nail polishes made to coat your nails and taste horrible if you start biting at them.

Nail biting can just be a habit or something you do when you get stressed or anxious. Put in a quick google search or talk to your doctor. There are many methods that can keep your hands busy.

Brushing too hard 

At this point you all should know brushing twice a day is more than just a recommendation from us dentists, it’s necessary for the optimum oral health. However if you brush too hard it can ruin all your hard work. It can have the reverse effects on your teeth. Thus bad habits can irritate your gums and damage your teeth. 

Think of brushing your teeth as more of a massage for your teeth rather than a scrub. 

Grinding and clenching

Teeth grinding (Bruxism) can wear down teeth immensely over time.  It is most often cause by stress, anxiety and sleeping habits. Often people do not even realise when they are doing it which makes it even harder to control. Wearing a mouthguard at night can help prevent the damages caused by grinding. 

Snacking/chewing on ice cubes

Many people think ice is as good for you as water. It’s sugar free and hydrates you so it’s harmless right? But biting down on hard, frozen ice cubes cna chip or even in some cases, crack your teeth.

If you continuously snack on ice cubes it can irritate the soft tissues inside your teeth which can result in regular toothaches. Hot and cold temperature foods can often trigger sharp pains in your teeth. It is often most common with people with sensitive teeth. Switch out your ice habit with sugar free gum instead. 

Using your teeth as tools

Opening things such as packaging or bottle caps with your teeth may be convenient, but this is one habit that can really damage your teeth. It can cause them to crack or chip. Be sure to keep scissors or a tool to open things with other than your teeth. The purpose of your teeth is to chew food, not your body’s personal can opener. 

Playing sports without a mouth guard 

This one is a bit of an obvious one. Playing sports can be dangerous, mouth guards are designed to protect your teeth from anything that may happen. Without it your teeth are vulnerable to get chipped or even knocked out if the action gets rough. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Be prepared and protect your teeth. 

Bedtime bottles

A lot of parents overlook this, especially if their baby hasn’t even started teething yet, but it is never too early to begin to protect the teeth. Giving a baby a bedtime bottle of juice or milk, can put the baby on the path to tooth decay. This is because the baby mouth ends up soaking in all of the sugars in the drink overnight. It’s usually better you stick to water in the bottles or just make sure the bottles are out of the crib. 

Tongue piercings 

Tongue piercings are attractive and trendy, but the metal constantly in the mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, therefore raising the risk of infections and sores. People with these piercings also often get used to playing with the piercing in their mouths, which could result in a cracked tooth if they bite on the metal too hard. 

Cough drops

Cough drops are another one that many people overlook because they are medicine. Just because they are sold within that capacity does not mean that they are healthy. They are absolutely loaded with sugar. So after soothing your throat with a lozenge, be sure that you brush your teeth really well after. 

Gummy sweets

Okay, so, everyone knows that sweets are bad for your teeth. They are almost pure sugar. But gummy sweets in particular, such as gummy bears stick in the teeth because of their texture, making sure that the sugar stays in your teeth for hours and turns into acids which result in cavities. 

Fizzy drinks 

Sweets are not the only ones that are the main causes of tooth decay. Many soft drinks can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar PER SERVING. To lose weight and lessen your sugar intake usually people opt for the diet or sugar free versions of these drinks. What they don’t show you is that although they skip all the sugar, they may have even more acid in the form of sweeteners. So maybe treat these drinks as a treat. Cut them out as much as you can and go for water. 

Crisps 

Crisps are known for their calories, not necessarily their abilities to cause cavities. The bacteria in plaque will also break down starchy foods into acid. This acid can attack the teeth for the next 20 minutes, even longer if you snack often. You definitely might want to floss after eating crisps, it’s not really realistic to brush your teeth every time you eat something bad. So flossing would be a good option to just ensure no food particles are stuck in between your teeth. 

Chewing on objects (eg. pencils)

Do you ever just snack on your stationary while you’re working? It’s similar to crunching on ice, these objects are not made to be in your mouth so it can cause it to chip or crack. If you have the need to chew or bite down or something sugar free gum or hard boiled sweets might be a better option. 

Drinking coffee 

We all need our daily vice, and usually it’s a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning to start your day. But coffee is notoriously known for staining teeth. The acidity in the coffee can cause yellowing over time. Fortunately, the staining can be undone by using various whitening methods or even by simply brushing twice daily can keep your teeth healthy and white. 

If you are noticing significant discolouration of your teeth or you are concerned in any way, talk to your dentist. 

Smoking

Cigarettes are also widely notorious for ruining many body parts, a key one being your teeth. Tobacco products can stain the teeth and also can cause them to fall out as a result of gum disease. Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue. If you were looking for one more reason to quit, think of your smile. 

Drinking wine

Let’s start with red. The main reason red wine is bad for your teeth is because the acids eat away at your enamel making them very vulnerable to the staining of the deep pigments in the wine. This is why the red might stay with you long after your glass is empty. 

Switching out the red for white to save your teeth is a very smart idea! But unfortunately switching to white wine will not spare you teeth. The acids that are in red wine are also in red wine. So it will break down the enamel in your teeth, weakingening them and leaving them to get stained by any other foods of drinks you may consume such as coffee.

Binge eating 

Binge eating usually involves an excessive amount of junk foods and sweets that not only are high in calories but also sugars. These sugars can turn into cavities and start decaying your teeth. 

More Bad Habits for Teeth

For more information on how to prevent bad habits and how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, check out our other blogs here. You can also follow us on Facebook for all our blog and video updates.