A lot of people assume that practicing good dental care simply means flossing fairly regularly, seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings, and brushing on a daily basis. But there are a few bad habits that can undermine the good ones. Here are just a few of those bad habits:
Bad Habit #1 – Crunching on ice
You finish an ice-cold soda or iced tea, and then you finish off the leftover ice, just crunching away. “What’s wrong with that?” you ask. The brittleness and the cold temperature of the ice cubes can actually fracture your teeth. They can cause microscopic cracks in the surface of the enamel, which could easily lead to bigger problems in the future. Although crushed ice is less harmful than cubes of ice, it still doesn’t get the blessing of most dentists. The same goes for things such as popcorn kernels, which can also harm your teeth and cause them to fracture.
Bad Habit #2 – Using your teeth as tools
We have all done it, use our teeth to help us in certain situations such as opening a bag of chips, uncapping a hard-to-open bottle, or ripping a price tag off of a new piece of clothing. Not only can this be hard on your teeth, it can actually be traumatizing them or cause the edge of a weakened tooth to chip off or fracture.
Just take some time to think about what you are putting in your mouth before you use your teeth as tools. Let real tools – scissors or pliers, for example – do the dirty work, and save your teeth from the damage that could happen.
Bad Habit #3 – Teeth Grinding
If you grind your teeth during the day or night, or even both, you are wearing them down. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, but it can also be caused by an abnormal bite, or missing or crooked teeth.
Dr. Lorenzi or Dr. Darrah may suggest wearing a mouth guard for teeth grinding at night. They can make a custom model that fits nicely to your teeth to prevent you from grinding them at night while you sleep. If you think that your grinding might be due to stress, consider a workout program or counseling. You might want to also consider cutting back on food and drinks that contain caffeine, reducing your alcohol intake, or refraining from chewing on items such as pencils or anything else that isn’t editable.
These are just a few of the bad habits that can effect your dental health. For more information, or for some ideas on how you can prevent some of these habits, simply give us a call. We would be happy to help!
Call your dentist in West Columbia for an appointment.