Are you damaging your teeth without even realising it? In this month’s blog the team at Leigh Dental Centre look at 5 habits, the effects of which may build up over time to damage your oral health in the long term.
- Carbonated drinks & acidic food
The high acidity in fizzy drinks and citrus foods will gradually wear away tooth enamel over time. In order to help limit the damage it is important to restrict acidic foods and carbonated drinks to mealtimes. Wherever possible aim to drink water in between meals. When drinking fizzy drinks use a straw so that your teeth will be less exposed to the sugars and acid in the drink and aim to drink it in one go and avoid constantly sipping a drink over a long period of time as this increases the length of time your teeth are exposed to the acid attack.
- Brushing too hard
It is important that you brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. However, it is important that you do not brush too vigorously as you may actually cause more harm than good. Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to the hard-outer surface of your teeth wearing down, this can mean that your teeth become more sensitive and can in the long term even cause cavities. Most dentists would now recommend that you use a soft bristled brush or an electric toothbrush to make sure that you do not cause damage to your teeth.
- Jaw clenching tooth grinding
During times of stress do you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, clenching and grinding puts a great deal of pressure on your teeth and over time you will notice your teeth begin to fracture and break. You may also notice that your teeth appear to be wearing down. Your dentist will be able to see the signs at your routine dental appointments and may advise that you wear a bite guard at night or may build your teeth up with filling material to help strengthen them.
- Using your teeth as tools
Many people will admit to using their teeth to tear tape, open packages or take tags of clothing, when they can’t find the scissors. However, your teeth are designed to chew food, help you speak and fill and define your facial features, they are not designed to be used as tools for other jobs. Using your teeth in this way can damage existing dental work and lead to your teeth becoming chipped or cracked.
- Nail biting
Biting your nails doesn’t only have the effect of harming the appearance of your hands, it can also lead to damage to your teeth. People who bite their nails will often have the habit for many years, with it getting worse at times of stress. Regularly biting your nails can cause your teeth to shift and may over time cause your teeth to break or splinter.
Your dentist will be able to see the effects of all these habits when you attend for your routine dental appointment so if you have any concerns do not hesitate to speak to the dental team at your next appointment.