We all have habits, whether good or bad, that we succumb to daily – more often than not without even thinking about it. And because we don’t put much thought into them, we don’t realize the affect that they can have on our physical health. A team of Pocatello dentists has compiled a list of everyday habits that negatively affect your teeth.
- Chewing Ice Cubes
Chewing ice is a common thing for people. When you finish a drink, it seems only natural to chomp on the ice and finish it off too. But this can cause damage to your teeth and gums, especially if you recently had dental work done.
- Using Your Teeth as Tools
When you want to open a package or tear tags from new clothes, and don’t have scissors nearby, it’s easy to use the tool that’s always connected to you – your teeth. But teeth weren’t meant to be tools. They are meant for chewing food. This could cause cracks in your teeth or wear down the enamel. Do yourself a favor and take the extra 15 seconds to grab a pair of scissors.
- Biting Your Pen, Straw, Glasses, etc.
Again with biting non-food objects. When focusing on tasks at work, or when bored watching TV at home, people often resort to biting objects like tips of pens, their eyeglasses, or the straw of their drink. It’s an easy habit to slip into that you don’t really think about. But it can be detrimental to your dental health. It can cause teeth to shift or crack and even break existing dental work like fillings or temporary crowns.
- Lip and Tongue Piercings
You get that new piercing to accessorize, because you like how it looks, or because it’s sexy. But what you might not know is that is can be risky for your oral health. Lip piercings can push your teeth out of alignment, creating other issues down the road. Tongue piercings can cause chipped teeth from clicking against them, and can also cause gums to recede.
- Cough Drops
Cough drops are a common self-prescription for sore throats and hoarse coughs. The soothe the pain and some even taste like candy now. But in order to be pleasing to the taste buds, they are loaded with sugar. And more often than not, when we are done with one, we just pop in another to keep the pain down. Sugar, as we know, damages teeth and causes cavities. We’re not saying to endure the throat pain and quit using cough drops altogether, but try to use them only as needed and as sparingly as possible, brushing your teeth regularly.
- Toothpick Abuse
After a meal, especially one with tough or stringy food, a toothpick is a common utensil that we gravitate toward. Even restaurants have them available at the checkout. However, people often misuse the toothpick, potentially causing damage to their teeth. Toothpicks are meant to remove gunk from between the teeth but are often used for scraping plaque as well. This second use, or misuse, can scratch the enamel, causing small fractures that can grow.
- Bottles in Bed
Putting a baby or toddler to bed with a bottle can seem like a life saver to sleep-deprived parents. It helps soothe them and gives them something to focus on until they fall asleep. But, it can also be harming their teeth. Formula, milk or juices will coat your child’s teeth in sugar, and it will sit overnight, allowing more time for cavities to emerge.
Try to keep these tidbits of knowledge in mind the next time you indulge in any of these habits.