Are you damaging your teeth without even realising it? Read on to find out about 5 habits, the effects of which may build up over time to damage your oral health in the long term.
1. Carbonated drinks & acidic food
Always got a fizzy drink to hand or a love for all things citrus, the high acidity in these foods will wear away the tooth enamel over time. Dental erosion is the loss of enamel and dentine caused as a direct result of the acid contained within what we eat and drink on a day to day basis. In order to help limit the damage to your teeth, only have acidic food and drinks at meal times and wherever possible aim to drink water in between meals. When drinking fizzy drinks use a straw so that your teeth will be less exposed to the sugar and acid in the drink, and aim to drink it in one go and avoid constantly sipping a drink over a long period of time as this increase the length of time your teeth are exposed to the acid attack.
2. Brushing too hard
Brushing your teeth should be a regular part of your oral hygiene routine and we would recommend that you brush your teeth before bed and at least once more during the day using fluoride toothpaste. However did you know that by brushing your teeth too vigorously you may actually cause more harm than good. Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to the hard outer surface of your teeth wearing down, this can mean that your teeth become more sensitive and can in the long term even cause cavities. Most dentists would now recommend that you use a soft bristled brush or an electric toothbrush to make sure that you do not cause damage to your teeth.
3. Jaw clenching tooth grinding
Some people in times of stress may find that they clench their jaw or grind their teeth. You may not even be aware that you do it as it can happen while you are asleep at night. Your dentist however will be able to see the signs. Clenching and grinding puts a great deal of pressure on your teeth and over time you will notice your teeth begin to fracture and break. You may also notice that your teeth appear to be wearing down. If you suffer with jaw clenching or tooth grinding speak to your dentist and they will be able to advise on the best course of treatment, whether this means wearing a bite guard at night or building up your teeth using filling material to help strengthen them, there are a number of treatments available to help protect your teeth from damage. Night guards at The Dental Studio start from £55 and if this doesn’t work for you then Botox may be an option depending on your conditions. Read this Daily Mail article: Why Grinding Teeth Wreck Looks.
4. Your teeth are not a tool
Many people will admit to the time when they couldn’t find the scissors and it was just easier to use their teeth to tear tape, open packages or take tags of clothing. However your teeth are designed to chew food, help you speak and fill and define your facial features, they are not designed to be used as tools for other jobs. Using your teeth in this way can damage existing dental works and lead to your teeth becoming chipped or cracked.
5. Nail biting
Biting your nails doesn’t only have the effect of harming the appearance of your hands, it can also lead to damage to your teeth. People who bite their nails will often have the habit for many years, with it getting worse at times of stress. Regularly biting your nails can cause your teeth to shift and may over time cause your teeth to break or splinter.
Your dentist will be able to see the effects of these habits when you attend for your dental check-up so if you have any concerns do not hesitate to speak to the dental team at your next appointment.