There are several habits that may seem harmless at first. But little do people know that these habits are actually harming teeth and gums.
What are some common habits that whittle away at teeth? You may be engaging in some of these practices. Best to cut back or avoid them entirely.
1. Overly vigorous brushing
Brushing teeth as hard as possible may seem like you’re removing a lot of germs and bacteria. While it may achieve that goal, the practice also harms your teeth. According to dental experts, brushing too hard can damage teeth and irritate your gums.
In some cases, patients experience receding gums as a result of frequent vigorous brushing. And when gums recede too far back, it will potentially expose the root surfaces of your teeth.
So what do you do? Dentists recommend applying a gentle brushing stroke when cleaning teeth. You should also ensure that the toothbrush doesn’t rub against your gums. Additionally, experts advise applying a massage-like approach when brushing teeth.
2. Turning teeth into tools
It may be a common practice to use the mouth and teeth as alternative tools. For instance, an unyielding container lid may force you to use your teeth to hinge it open. Or grabbing too many things all at once may encourage you to use your mouth to hold a few more items.
Such a practice puts you at risk of breaking your teeth or injuring your jaw. If either of these scenarios happens, you could find yourself seeking emergency dental services.
While you may get away without any injuries the first few times, it’s best to avoid this habit entirely. You’ll never know when accidents will take place.
3. Drinking too much alcohol and soft drinks
Alcohol and soft drinks are fine when consumed in moderation. However, when you drink too much of these fluids and oral problems start surfacing, you need to cut back on them. In extreme cases, you’d need to eliminate these drinks from your diet.
Beer, wine, and soda are high in acidic content. This acidity chips away at teeth and gum integrity. Additionally, alcoholic drinks have a dehydrating effect on the mouth, negatively impacting saliva production. And with less saliva, your mouth becomes less effective at flushing out plaque and bacteria from teeth.
If you don’t necessarily consume a lot of alcohol or soft drinks, it’s still a good practice to rinse your mouth with water after consuming these types of drinks.
4. Eating too many sugary foods
Drinks aren’t the only source of sugar that can harm teeth. Sugary food like chocolate, jelly candies, and dried fruit can potentially degrade your teeth’s enamel content. A snacking habit that involves a lot of sugary food will make matters worse.
If you must indulge in snacks, dentists recommend finding healthier alternatives like fresh fruits and nuts. Additionally, if you occasionally consume sugary snacks, drinking a glass of water right after will help avoid cavities from sticking to your teeth.
When combined with best practices in home oral care, avoiding these habits will ensure you’ll have a brighter and more confident smile.