8 Dental Habits You Need to Break Now
Grinding your teeth (Bruxism): If you grind, clench or gnash your teeth during the night, your teeth can become damaged. See your dentist for treatments, which may include wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Eating gummy bears: Although sugary lollies should generally be avoided altogether due to their high sugar content which can cause cavities, the sticky consistency of gummy bears means that they tend to stick in the grooves of the teeth. This can mean that the sugar and resulting acid can remain in contact with your teeth for hours.
Drinking sugary carbonated drinks: Some of these can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving as well as phosphoric and citric acids, which can eat away at tooth enamel. Don’t be fooled by diet soft drinks either; even though the sugar content is minimised, they may contain even more acid as a result of artificial sweeteners.
Using your teeth to open things: Some people like to open plastic packaging with their teeth and a few even go as far as opening bottles with their teeth! This is very damaging to the teeth and can cause them to crack.
Chewing on pencils or pens: We’ve all done it, haven’t we? Sometimes when we concentrate intensely, unknowingly, our writing implement ends up in our mouth being gnawed on. This is bad news for your teeth, however, as the hard surface can cause cracks or chips.
Playing sports without a mouth guard: Contact sports naturally result in occasional knocks to the face, but engaging in these sports without the protection of a mouthguard can mean damage to your teeth. A mouthguard is a moulded piece of plastic that fits snugly over the upper row of teeth. If you choose not to wear one, your teeth can chip or even be knocked out.
Bedtime bottles: Even though babies or toddlers may find sucking on a bottle filled with juice or milk comforting, doing so coats the teeth in sugars that will remain on the teeth all night. The resulting acids can damage the teeth.
Tongue and lip piercings: Biting down on the hard metal of a tongue or lip piercing can cause teeth to crack. Also, the constant rubbing of the metal against the gums can cause gum sores and damage. This also increases the risk of bacterial infections.