Habits are repetitive, routine behaviours that can be practiced on a daily basis. When it comes to oral health, some healthy habits like regular dentist visits and flossing will prevent any complications with your teeth and gums. However, there are some habits that are potentially damaging. Here are some harmful habits that may affect your overall oral health.
Grinding Your Teeth
Teeth grinding often occurs in your sleep. Additionally, The Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene found that grinding is frequently present in patients with overbites or crooked teeth. This can cause loss of tooth structure, gum recession, loosening and shortening of the teeth, sensitivity, and cracked or broken teeth.
Consuming Certain Beverages
Some beverages can weaken and stain your teeth. Carbonated drinks like sodas are not only highly acidic, they are full of sugar. Sugar is one of the biggest culprits in the destruction of the teeth’s protective enamel, making the teeth prone to cavities and decay.
Sports drinks can also be full of sugar and have the potential to wear away at the enamel on the teeth. Consuming these right after a workout (or when you’re dehydrated) can be especially risky, as being dehydrated causes you to produce less saliva. Because of this, there is nothing to help wash away damaging sugars.
Coffee, tea, and red wine also contain tannins, an ingredient that is frequently responsible for staining the teeth.
Using Cough Drops
While cough drops and lozenges are effective in soothing a sore throat, their sugar content is very high. In fact, they can be just as bad for your teeth as lollipops and other hard candies. Sucking or chewing on cough drops and lozenges can lead to an increase of plaque buildup and acids that can potentially destroy tooth enamel.
Chewing on Ice
Chewing on ice may seem like a harmless habit, but it can potentially damage your teeth. Although enamel is the body’s hardest tissue, chronic wear and tear can cause erosion in its layers. This can trigger pain in your jaw, affecting your bite and overall comfort.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Using your teeth in lieu of other tools to open a bag, twist off bottle caps, or as a pair of scissors can be extremely harmful to your teeth. These things can cause fractures, chipping, or cracking of in the teeth. In extreme cases, a broken tooth may have to be extracted and replaced with an implant.
Brushing Immediately After You Eat
Contrary to popular belief, brushing immediately after meals is not recommended. Consuming food or beverages that contain acids may cause the enamel to soften temporarily, leaving them vulnerable to potential dental hazards. Brushing your teeth while this protective layer is at its weakest may even cause the enamel to erode, increasing the risk of decay and damage to your teeth.
Breaking a bad habit may not be easy, but recognizing that there is a problem is the first step. Aside from breaking free of harmful habits, it is also recommended to practice an excellent oral care regime to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
For a trusted, professional dental team, call Cosmo Dental Centre at (519) 659-2767. We offer a variety of dental services in London, Ontario.