5 bad habits that harm your teeth

We’ve all been there.

Brushing our teeth twice a day and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups – these are the two things we need to do to ensure that we have a perfect smile for years to come. Right? Well, while these are both vital, it’s also about what we should avoid doing. There are lots of things we do every day – often subconsciously – which could be harming our teeth and shoring up trouble for the years ahead.

Here are some of the habits dentists would like us to stop:

Drinking fizzy or sugary drinks

Not surprisingly, drinking sugar-laden drinks is bad for our teeth because they cause a sticky coating which can get into every nook and cranny, causing plaqueA soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives. to form and eventually tooth decayThe lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.. And while you might think you can avoid this by virtuously choosing the ‘diet’ option, the acidity in a carbonated drink can slowly corrode your tooth enamelHard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth., so a diet lemonade will also damage your teeth. The effects are even worse if you slowly sip a drink over a long period of time so if you do indulge in a coke, drink it quickly and then rinse your mouth with plain water.

Biting your nails

It’s a nasty habit which ruins the look of your hands and brings any number of bacteria into your mouth, but did you realise it’s also harmful to your teeth? If you’re in the habit of biting your nails to relieve stress you can easily move your teeth out of alignment, or cause your teeth to break or the tooth enamel to splinter.

Using your teeth as tools

There’s never a pair of scissors handy when we need them, so sometimes it makes sense to use our teeth. But whether you’re in the habit of breaking off clothes tags, ripping open a bag of crisps or opening bottles, you risk damaging your teeth every time you use your teeth as a tool.

Crunching on ice

On a hot day, it’s nice to enjoy the coolness of ice cubes in our mouth and it’s tempting to crunch on them, but the cold temperature and the hardness of the ice cubes can cause serious damage to your teeth. Just think how sharp those special blades need to be in a blender to crush ice for an ice-cold smoothie – this isn’t a job our teeth are designed to do!

Chewing a non-food item

It might be a pen, pencil or the arm of your glasses: when we’re deep in concentration, many of us are in the habit of chewing or clenching our teeth on a non-food item, often using more pressure than we realise This can cause our teeth to shift or even crack, and can damage existing dental work such as a crownSimple crown procedure utilizing a porcelain crown fused to non-precious metal and not involving complicated prep. or veneerIn the construction of crowns or pontics, a layer of tooth-colored material usually, but not limited to, composite, porcelain, ceramic or acrylic resin, attached to the surface by direct fusion, cemen.

Of course there are lots of good habits we can adopt to keep our teeth in tip top condition – such as making good daily food choices – as well as having regular check-ups with your dentist.
Find a good dental practice near to you at Colosseum Dental, one of the UK’s largest and most respected dental groups.

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