Here are 8 lifestyle habits that can end up damaging your teeth.
Sugary Food and Beverages
The food and beverages that you consume directly affect your teeth. Food and beverages that are loaded with sugar are harmful to your teeth if they are consumed often. The sugar present in the food or beverages you consume gets accumulated over your teeth. Bacteria consume these sugars and in turn produce acids. These acids can erode the enamel layer of the teeth and cause tooth decay. Acidic foods like sour candy, canned foods, pickles, soda, energy drinks can also pose as threats to the teeth as they erode the enamel layer of the teeth. The acetic acid present in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, sweet lime can also erode the enamel layer if consumed in large amounts.
Grinding or Clenching your teeth (Bruxism)
Bruxism is a condition where one grinds or clenches the teeth. Bruxism can happen when you are asleep or even when you are awake. People with mild bruxism need not require treatment while people with severe bruxism can suffer from jaw disorders, headaches, chipped or even damaged teeth. Some of the symptoms of bruxism are fractured or chipped teeth, increased tooth pain or sensitivity, jaw and neck soreness, sleep disruption, headaches, etc.
Thumb sucking which is most prevalent in children causes several orthodontic problems. Usually, children outgrow thumb sucking after a certain age, but a few children who do not stop can be affected by several bite related issues like overbite, open bite, speech impediment, etc. Even pacifiers have the same effect as thumb sucking but the use of pacifiers is a much easier habit to break than thumb sucking.
Using your Teeth as a Tool
There is no denying the fact that all of us have used our teeth as a tool at some point in our life. Some of the common things that we use our teeth other than for eating are to hold things, to crack nuts, to open bottles or to open snack packets. All the teeth in our mouth are designed for certain purposes only and those are eating, chewing and grinding food. Our teeth are not Swiss army knives that can be used as tools. If our teeth are used in other ways other than its intended purposes, it can cause toothaches, tooth fractures, etc.
As mentioned above, teeth are intended for chewing, biting and grinding food only. But another common practice of not using our teeth for its intended purpose is nail-biting. Nail biting is a common unhealthy practice that causes damage to the teeth. Nail biting can occur as a childhood habit or if people are stressed. It can damage the enamel layer and can cause the teeth to shift or break.
Smoking causes a variety of problems to different organs of our body which include heart, lungs, nervous system, etc. But did you know that smoking can cause tooth problems? Studies show that smoking is linked to gum disease. It can cause untreated gum disease to progress into advanced periodontitis. Advanced periodontitis can cause bone loss, loosening of teeth and finally tooth loss. Nicotine present in the cigarettes can stain the teeth into a yellowish brown color. They are also carcinogenic in nature and are responsible for causing oral cancer.
Using Non-fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a mineral that aids in preventing tooth decay. Bacteria present in the plaque on your teeth causes demineralization which is a process where the mineral from your teeth is lost. When you apply fluoride toothpaste the fluoride on your teeth disrupt any acid produced by the bacteria and prevent tooth cavities.
Poor Brushing Techniques
Brushing is an important aspect of keeping your teeth healthy. But did you know that wrong brushing techniques can cause if not more at least an equal amount of damage to your teeth than not brushing at all? Over-brushing is one of the common mistakes that many people do while brushing their teeth. Harsh and very abrasive brushing can cause tooth sensitivity and receding gums. Over brushing can also erode the enamel layer of the teeth. Some people hold on to their same brush for a very long time. Dentists recommend that a person should change their toothbrush every 2-3 months. Another prominent improper brushing technique includes, not brushing equally. Many people brush their front visible teeth more than their rear molars and premolars and this should be avoided.