As a pediatric dentist, Ammar Idlibi tries to offer as much advice to his patients as possible about what they can do to maintain the long-term health of their teeth. While visiting the dentist regularly and brushing twice a day are obvious, there are many other things that people do that can cause untold damage to their teeth over time. The following are all little habits that are bad for your teeth and oral hygiene, all of which can be changed in an instant.
There are few things better than the taste of an ice-cold beverage on a warm day. Disregarding the fact that this beverage may be a soft drink, which likely contains sugar and could damage your drink, it is the ice that may present a more immediate threat. Many people have gotten into the habit of chewing the ice in their drinks when it goes into their mouths. At first glance this may not seem like much of an issue, after all it’s only water in another form. However, the coldness of the ice, coupled with its brittle nature, can actually cause microscopic cracks to appear on the teeth when it is crunched, which can develop into big problems later on.
Using Teeth As Tools
Your teeth are tools for eating food, but a lot of people use them for all sorts of other things. There are probably many reading this who have torn open a plastic wrapping with their teeth or used their molars to loosen a bottle cap. All of these actions cause your teeth to come into contact with materials that they should not be interacting with. These can lead to trauma and may even result in teeth getting chipped.
The effects of teeth grinding are obvious in that it wears down your teeth. Unfortunately, this is something that many people do at night, when they are unaware of what is happening. The best fix in these cases is to speak to your dentist and acquire some mouth protection that will stop your grinding. Those who grind their teeth when they are awake need to exercise a little bit of willpower to get out of the habit.
Using The Wrong Toothbrush
While brushing regularly is always recommended, you may actually be damaging your teeth if you use a hard-bristled brush. There is a common misconception that harder brushes will result in cleaner teeth, but this is not usually the case, especially with older adults. As you age your gums will start to recede and the roots of your teeth become more exposed. Hard bristled brushes will cause pain in these more sensitive areas, in addition to leading to gum irritation.
Ammar Idlibi is the founder of Kids Dental Care and has been practicing dentistry since 1992.