10 Habits to Avoid For Better Teeth

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We all know the things we need to be doing to take care of our pearly whites: Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and getting routine cleanings and checkups from your dentist in Lakeview or South Loop. But there are also some not-so-great habits that can damage your teeth now or cause big problems down the road. Here is a list of some of the most common troublemaker habits to avoid or stop doing for the sake of the health of your teeth.

1. Brushing Too Hard.

If you have that tendency to brush really vigorously, it can be more harmful than helpful. It can actually wear down the enamel in your teeth, make them sensitive to temperatures, aggravate your gums, and sometimes even promote cavities. Try using a soft bristled brush and brush gently at an angle.

2. Crunching On Ice

If you are an ice cruncher - beware of the killer cube. This habit can cause serious damage to your teeth due to the hardness and coldness of the ice. This is a serious "no-no" for your teeth health.

3. Biting Your Nails

Not only does nail biting affect the appearance of your hands, it can also cause tooth damage and oral hygiene issues. Nail biting can make your teeth slowly move out of place, and even eventually promote splinters in your tooth enamel. Keep clippers with you and use those instead.

4. Drinking Soda

Because of their acidity, soda pop and other carbonated beverages are bad for your teeth. That acid just corrodes your tooth enamel. If you like to sip soda slowly over time, It's like bathing your teeth in acid for an hour. It can also cause decay in your gum line. Drinking water is a much better alternative for your body and your teeth.

5. Chewing on Objects

Some folks make a habit of chewing or biting on something while they think; like pencils, pens, or their glasses. What they may not realize is the pressure that is putting on their teeth. This can cause teeth to chip, shift or potentially even break existing dental work.

6. Using Teeth as a Tool

Do you use your teeth to tear off tape, open a bag, or break off a tag? Your teeth are not meant to be a tool, they are meant to chew food. Using them as a tool is an invitation for breaks, chips, and mouth damage. Grab the pliers or scissors instead and save your teeth.

7. Tooth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Many of us clench our jaws when we're under stress. We may grind our teeth when we don't even realize it, like even in bed. Problem is, it causes an extreme amount of pressure on our teeth when that happens, possibly creating micro-fractures in our teeth. This can weaken our teeth and put them at risk for more damage, not to mention harming dental work. If you have a problem with this, try wearing a mouth guard at night.

8. Sucking on Lemons

If life gives you lemons, just don't suck on them. At least if you want healthy teeth! The acid in lemons corrodes your tooth enamel.

9. Thumb Sucking

If thumb sucking continues on after a child's permanent teeth have come in, it could produce permanent changes in jaw and tooth structure causing crooked or misaligned teeth. This can lead to even further issues which include breathing problems and difficulties in chewing food. It's best to wean your child off of thumb sucking early on.

10. Aggressive Use of Toothpicks

Using toothpicks properly helps keep your teeth clean. However, if you poke and prod with them vigorously, you can damage your gum tissue. Remember, taking care of your gums and teeth should not cause pain and if it does it could be doing more damage than good.

There you have it: 10 habits to avoid or stop doing. Remember that regular dental visits can help you see potential damage to your tooth enamel or gum line and stop many diseases and issues before they start. So come on in today for a checkup from your Lakeview Dentist.

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