Your teeth are with you for life. They make you look good when you smile and help you break down food so you can stay alive. They are important for all of us, so why not take care of them with good dental hygiene? I know what you’re thinking: here we go with another speech about how I need to take better care of my teeth. Not true. Here is an article of 10 things that almost everybody does that damages teeth. Most of the time we don’t even realize it either.
1. Crunching Ice: We get it, it’s almost like a snack. It cools you down and it’s just water too, so zero calories! What could possibly be wrong with chewing on ice? Well, actually it can be pretty bad for your teeth. Chewing on ice has a chance of causing cracks in your teeth, which can be difficult to fix. It seems as if human teeth are not designed to chomp or crush solid objects like ice. This extends to hard candy and rice as well.
2. Thinking that Mouthwash can Replace Flossing: I know, I know. This might be another lecture about flossing (ok it is). The fact of the matter is, using mouthwash is just not enough to protect yourself against gingivitis, yet everybody believes that it is, mostly because that burning sensation – if you’re using Listerine – means everything’s A-ok. In order to kill ALL the bacteria between teeth and gums, you just need to floss.
3. Drinking Sports Drinks: Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are designed to fill you with electrolytes after a potentially rough workout. But what they also fill you with is sugar. You may already be aware that sports drinks contain a lot of sugar, but what you may not know is that with a dry mouth, more bacteria is created. This bacteria feeds off of sugar and creates cavities in your mouth. This is bad.
4. Drinking Soft Drinks: We all love a nice can of Coke, Sprite, Root Beer, etc., especially with summer coming along. Aside from all the sugar, these drinks contain a lot of acidity, which react badly when they come in contact with your teeth. This erodes enamel and ultimately does irreversible damage to your teeth.
5. Using your Teeth as Tools: If you have scissors, a can opener, or a pair of pliers with you, please use them and not your teeth to perform tasks. It may seem convenient, but even something like cutting a piece of thread with your teeth can cause micro-fractures which may lead to bigger problems down the road.
6. Grinding your Teeth: One of the most popular bad habits in the world. People grind their teeth all the time: when they’re upset, nervous, or even bored. Clenching your jaw is the same thing. They are both horrible for your teeth, especially when you might be doing these things in your sleep. Hours and hours of unwanted pressure on the teeth is never a good thing. If you think you might be a tooth grinder or clencher, start practising some self-control and maybe get a night guard for bedtime.
7. Biting Things: For the same reasons listed above, you might also be one of those people who chews and bites on their pen, pencil, finger, whatever. Pressure marks, cracks, and even breaks can result from keeping your mouth and teeth closed on a solid object for extended periods of time.
8. Biting your Nails: This is becoming a little bit of a pattern isn’t it? Besides the cracks and breaks caused from chewing solid objects for long durations, disgusting germs that live under your fingernails can enter your teeth, which may infect your teeth and gums. Nasty stuff.
9. Using the Wrong Tools for the Job: You might hate me for saying this but toothpicks are bad for your teeth! Also, so are paper clips, pieces of paper, or other foreign objects you may want to clean your teeth with. Not only do they not work as well as simple dental floss, you can end up seriously hurting your gums with those things.
10. Skipping the Dentist: So you brush twice a day, floss, and follow all the best oral care tips, but you skip dental cleanings and other procedures. It’s the same as not doing anything at all. Seriously, not going for cleanings or essential dental repairs will come back to haunt you. Make your teeth glad to be a part of your gorgeous mouth and go see your local kitsilano dentist when it’s time! And if that’s us, GREAT!