No one wants bad teeth however, not many of us are aware of the daily habits that lead to them.
Our teeth are extremely important to chew, grind and bite food.
Moreover, healthy and white teeth look appealing and raise your confidence.
That said, there are some activities that we do habitually and have no idea about their detrimental effect on teeth.
Did you know that tearing apart a pack of chips using your teeth is bad for them?
You probably did not!
Similarly, eating ice, not wearing a mouthguard and teeth grinding cause harm to your oral health.
This article discusses all the habits that harm your dental health that you should change from now onwards.
Unhealthy Habits From Childhood That Cause Bad Teeth
Did you start biting your nails when you were a child and that has continued till now?
Children bite their nails because they feel lonely in school or at home.
However, this habit persists well into adulthood.
As a result, it chips and cracks your teeth.
What’s worse is that the protruding position also affects your jaw and can result in jaw dysfunction.
The unusual position that helps you bit nails puts your lower jaw out of position and causes pain in your jaw.
You can get rid of this habit by applying bad-tasting nail polish on your nails, or addressing the root cause of your unhealthy habit and reducing stress.
Adults may keep grinding their teeth once they develop this habit in childhood.
Furthermore, they may even start it in adulthood.
Stress, sleep apnea and anxiety usually trigger teeth grinding.
If continued for a long time, it destroys the shape of your teeth, especially the canines.
It can further cause headaches, wear down the enamel making it prone to cavities, tooth decay and staining and pain in the jaw.
Your jaw misaligns and your teeth are at risk of fracture, chipping and cracking.
Identify your triggers and find a solution for them such as relaxing and exercising.
You can also use a mouthguard while sleeping to prevent yourself from clenching unconsciously in sleep.
If you do not treat it in time it will lead to facial pain and joint dysfunction.
Thumb Sucking is part of the growth of children.
They start discovering their body and to deal with anxiousness, they start sucking their thumb.
While this is natural, your child should stop doing it by the time they are three.
If they do not, it affects their teeth, roof of the mouth and tongue.
They can get buck teeth, speech impediments and misalignment of teeth.
This habit can also continue into adulthood hence, you should break it by your child is three.
These unhealthy habits may develop in childhood but get stubborn over time.
Therefore, it is hard to give them up in adulthood.
Bottle feeding can give your child baby bottle tooth decay.
Your child should not go asleep with a bottle in hand.
Long exposure of the sugars in milk with the bacteria results in quick erosion of the enamel and decay.
Hence, you should soon put your child on a sippy cup to prevent prolonged exposure to milk sugars with bacteria.
In fact, you can give your child water before sleep in the bottle but not milk or juice.
Domestic Habits That Lead to Bad Teeth
What’s the harm in chewing ice?
Well, it cracks your enamel, wearing it down and making it prone to fracture and break.
Hence, this supposedly harmless activity of chewing ice is extremely bad for your teeth.
It is better to skip ice altogether if you cannot fight the urge to quit chewing it.
Get chilled drinks instead of iced drinks.
Using Teeth as Tools to Tear Packaging
Since when did your teeth become scissors and knives?
Their purpose is to facilitate eating by the action of biting and chewing.
Moreover, they also help you speak properly.
Opening a packet of chips or a bottle open may seem like completely harmless activities, however, they can chip and fracture your teeth.
Any weak tooth may even fall off if you exert unnecessary pressure on them.
Hence, do not use them for such odd purposes.
Not Wearing Mouthguards
An adult or child should wear a mouthguard while playing sports.
There is a high risk of injury to the mouth, especially in high-impact sports.
These include football, rugby, mixed martial arts.
A mouthguard protects your lips, inside of cheeks, jaw, gums, tongue and teeth.
If you don’t wear it, your teeth may slice your gums, tongue and cheek on impact.
Plus, you can lose your jaw and tooth.
Incorrect Use of Toothpicks
All you need toothpicks for is to gently remove food particles stuck between your teeth.
However, harshly using them can harm the enamel.
It can also leave scratches on the tooth’s surface.
What’s worse is pushing the toothpick in between the gaps in teeth.
That can cause the gap to widen and the teeth to shift shape.
Floss gently daily instead of using a toothpick to remove stuck food particles and plaque.
Unhealthy Diet Habits
Eating Sugary and Starchy Foods
Eating too many sugary and starchy foods can increase your chances of getting a tooth cavity and decay.
Starchy foods like potato chips, biscuits and crackers also break down into sugars when they enter the mouth.
They become the bacteria’s feed which helps them grow and form plaque on teeth.
Sugary foods in general do cause harm but sticky and chewy foods like jellies, candies and gummies that stick on teeth for a longer time are worse.
They can get stuck in the cervices and are harder to remove.
Hence, the saliva does not wash them away and they can build up bacteria.
Similarly, dry fruits also get stuck between the teeth’ cervices.
Moreover, sucking on sugary cough drops is bad for teeth too as it gets stuck in the mouth.
Besides sugary foods, we have acidic foods and drinks that can be bad for your oral health.
Drinking Acidic Sodas
Sodas and energy drinks contain a high amount of acids.
In fact, they have a double dose of sugar and acid both of which are bad for your dental health.
Acids erode your enamel while sugars encourage bacteria buildup.
Hence, their combination results in cavities, staining and tooth decay.
Drinking them on a regular basis will eventually harm your teeth.
Another sugary drink that harms more is fruit juice.
Fruit juices contain more sugars than fruits themselves.
While they contain vitamins and nutrients, they are not that healthy for your teeth because of their high sugar content.
The best alternative for all of these is to have water.
It is not only sugar-free but also calorie-free.
If you cannot give up on your soft drinks and juices then brush after drinking them.
Remember to not brush immediately but 30 minutes after drinking otherwise the acids and abrasives in toothpaste will combine to erode the enamel.
If you cannot brush then at least rinse your mouth with water.
Also, use a straw while drinking them to limit contact with your teeth.
Oral Hygiene Practices
If you brush your teeth harshly then you will likely weaken your enamel in no time.
Brushing should be gentle in circular motions.
Use full 2 minutes to not rush it and take your time moving the brush in gentle strokes between the teeth.
Though, it is also important to use the right tools.
For instance, make sure that your toothbrush has soft bristles.
Hard bristles can lead to bleeding gums and enamel erosion.
Soft bristles are a necessity as they will preserve your enamel while cleaning gently.
An electric toothbrush removes plaque better than a manual one.
Hence, if you use that, you will not have to brush vigorously to remove stains from the surface of your teeth.
When you brush, think about massaging and not scrubbing.
This will help reduce the extent of pressure you put on your teeth.
Furthermore, remember to change your brush head every 3 months when the bristles start to frail.
Also, brush twice a day and floss once.
While you may know this, many people still do not follow it.
You should also occasionally rinse your teeth with mouthwash.
It not only protects from bacteria but bacteria causing problems such as bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
Therefore, forgetting or deliberately ignoring these oral hygiene practices is a bad habit.
When you know you can improve your oral health just by being regular then do so and prevent harm to your teeth.
Bad teeth result from these unhealthy habits that we subject our bodies to.
All we need is some punctuality and consistency to take good care of our oral health.
Get rid of these unhealthy habits and practices to maintain healthy teeth in the long term.
After all, healthiness is indicated through your confident smile.