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Common Habits that can damage your Teeth

August 23, 2013  by: Sapna Chaurasia  Points: 12   Category: Health  Earning $0.40   Views: 661

We may not notice but there are habits which we practice every day that is wrecking our teeth on everyday basis. Here are listed few bad habits that can be detrimental to the health of our teeth and gums and thus should be avoided.


Visiting a dentist is something most of us hate though it is the only way to get relief from oral problems. Oral problems are one of the increasing health concerns that panic children as well as elderly. Oral health is an important part of our overall health and it is necessary to maintain proper habits and hygiene to keep them at bay. Healthy teeth and gums can refrain us from oral problems like bad breath, cavities, inflammation, pain and even oral cancer. We may not realize but there are common habits which we practice not knowing that they can be harmful to our teeth and gums and can potentially result in problems that can last for a long time.

Brushing too hard

While most of us think that brushing teeth vigorously with a hard brush can facilitate proper cleaning but the fact is we are putting the future of our teeth in danger. Brushing too hard can wear down and weaken the tooth enamel and can also irritate the gums. Exerting too much pressure with a hard brush on a tooth can make them sensitive and hence make them prone to problems like staining and pain. Using a soft brush two times a day in a circular motion is the recommended way to clean the tooth and massage the gums.

Your teeth are not your tool

We often use our teeth as our instant weapon to open bottle caps, tear packets, rip a price tag, and even remove the covering of a wire. This practice is a threat to our dental health and can potentially damage our dental structure. Our teeth are not meant to perform functions like this and this can cause internal injuries like weaker tooth and gum line as well as dental ageing. Holding hard objects and exerting pressure through teeth can cause the edges of the teeth to weaken and chip off, finally cracking the teeth. Snipping thread is also a common thing most of us do unaware of the fact that fine strong threads can damage gums and tooth roots.

Don't grit or grind your teeth

There are times of stress and excitement which make some people grind their teeth which is another reason responsible for the wear down of the teeth. When conditions like these trigger jaw clenching severe pressure is exerted on the two tooth surfaces, this friction can harm the enamel coating. Frequent grinding of teeth can cause chipping, cracking, loosening or even fracture of teeth and severe toothache. There is a condition when people subconsciously grind their teeth during the night when they sleep, this condition requires a visit to the dentist who will suggest a mouthgaurd to wear during the night to prevent further risks to the teeth. One need to stay careful and calm when they feel like clenching their teeth and distract themselves by doing something else to avoid this habit.

Say no to Soda and Sugar

Excessive consumption of sweetened food items, beverages like carbonated drinks, tea, coffee and junk food are a threat to the natural enamel and a dietary source of tooth decay.
Food rich in sugar decay the external coating of teeth and expose the sensitive internal layer thus subjecting teeth to infections and oral problems. The acid producing bacteria also digest sugar into acid and create a film of plaque that result in cavities.

Cold drinks and soft drinks are both sweet and acidic hence posing dangerous consequences. Acids in these drinks wear away tooth enamel exposing the internal sensitive layer that is vulnerable to stain easily from colored food and drink. Even the soft drinks that claim to be sugar free are too acidic and consuming such drinks over a long time can make teeth brittle and cause cavities. Using a straw can limit the contact of soft drink with front teeth to some extent.

The ingredients present in coffee and tea are also not very good for the tooth enamel. Similarly junk food also contributes to tooth decay and cavities. Instead go on munching fresh fruits and veggies like carrots and cucumber which are natural tooth cleansers along with many health benefits.

Nail Biting

This is one habit that not only represent the psychological aspect of a person but is also harmful for both nail as well as the teeth. People who are stressed and are not confident about themselves exhibit this habit which is a reflection of their negative trait. This is done at the subconscious level and shows deep anxiety. Biting nails with teeth can result in chipped or cracked front teeth, soften the gums, cause tooth enamel to splinter and damage the overall tooth material. When we bite our nails the dirt containing germs and bacteria underneath our nails can be a cause of cavities and oral infections.

Thumb Sucking

This habit very common in children can result in major misalignment problems in the early childhood that can disturb the positioning of the teeth that will stay for a lifetime. Parents should be careful and encourage the children to refrain from such activity as it can interfere with the overall structure of teeth. Thumb sucking also damage the gum line. This habit can cause upper and lower front teeth to project out or lower teeth to fold back into the mouth.

Crunching Ice cubes

It may look harmless to us to chew and crunch the leftover ice cubes in our glass of drink but the fact is even ice can damage external coating of our teeth owing to its hardness and chilling temperature. The brittle and hard structure of ice cubes can cause microscopic cracks on the surface of enamel leading to even severe dental problems. Eating too cold or hot can result in sensitivity problems, so melt the ice in your mouth instead of crunching and torturing your teeth.

Oral Piercings

Piercing different mouth parts like tongue, cheeks, lips, and uvula is in fashion these days but these are actually fashion disasters that will not be recommended by any dentist. The metal worn can be dangerous for the dental material and can also interfere with the normal speech, chewing and swallowing. The piercing can also lead to oral infections and can damage the teeth, gums and tooth fillings. Sometimes people tend to play with their piercing ornaments that cat can injure gums, result in cracked teeth and can cause tooth sensitivity. The only thing to remember is that nothing is as fashionable as a beautiful smile that flaunts healthy tooth and gums.

Chewing things not meant for maintaining healthy teeth

Putting everything from pencils to cloth and chewing upon them is a habit that not only small children but also adults practice. This habit can interfere with the tooth structure and harm the enamel. Chewing of tobacco is another hazardous habit that not only ruin our teeth and gums but can also cause oral cancer.

Swimming in Chlorinated water

Chlorine present in the swimming pool also has a corrosive effect on our tooth enamel. It is important to be careful while in the pool and avoid drinking water while swimming.

Author: Abhijit Bangal        
Posted Date: 09/02/2013    Points:3    

These are some indeed useful tips. I really found it interesting and a bit amusing to read that teeth aren''t the tools. I have seen a man in our area who used to open soda water bottles with his teeth. And now after some years, he is facing a lot of problems. I think people should take care of their teeth if they want to keep them forever.

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