We try our best to protect our teeth, but did you know that there are everyday activities that can harm your teeth? Here are 5 ways you may not realize are harming your smile.
1. Grinding Your Teeth
Whether you grind your teeth due to stress or it’s part of your sleep routine teeth grinding, or bruxism, has a painful and damaging impact on your teeth. The clenching and sliding of your teeth back and forth can cause pain in your jaw, and chip and break your teeth. You can try to make a conscious effort to stop grinding your teeth while you’re awake, but it’s harder to catch yourself doing it while you’re asleep. Ask your dentist about wearing a mouth guard while you sleep so you can rest easy knowing your pearly whites are protected.
2. Using Your Teeth to Open Packages
So many of us don’t think twice about opening a bag or box by biting and ripping it open. Though, unless you’re looking to add some cracks and chips to your teeth, don’t use your teeth as a substitute for your tool box! It is also not recommended to bite onto objects to hold them up while your hands are occupied, and never try to open bottles or soda cans with your teeth.
3. Sucking on Cough Drops
Having a cold is an awful feeling, especially when your throat is scratchy, dry, and sore. Cough drops may offer some relief, but be aware of the damage they can do to your teeth. Cough drops, both with and without sugar, can cause cavities and demineralization of your enamel. Demineralization is an early sign of tooth decay where your enamel starts to wear away. If left untreated, demineralization can lead to tooth pain and damage to the tooth’s root if not dealt with quickly.
4. Snacking Too Much
A mid-afternoon snack seems like a good idea, but sugary treats can harm your teeth. The more food your teeth are exposed to, the more they interact with acids and sugars that can cause plaque buildup. When you consume an excess of sugary snacks or sodas the healthy plaque bacteria in your mouth feeds off the sugar turning it into cavity-causing acid. To avoid hurting your smile, make sure to brush your teeth after a snacking to keep your teeth happy and healthy!
5. Drinking Too Much Coffee
Coffee can give us the mental boost we need to get through the day, but it’s extremely acidic. The acid in coffee can seriously weaken the enamel on your teeth, which can lead to cavities that can harm your teeth. Coffee can also cause tooth discoloring. To keep your smile healthy and bright, be sure to brush your teeth after drinking your morning ‘cup of joe’!
No one intentionally means to hurt their teeth, but sometimes little actions or habits we don’t think about throughout the day can cause long-term damage to your smile. If you’re worried your teeth may already be damaged, schedule an appointment with your local dentist at TenderCare Dental. We’ll bring care and tenderness to your exam, so you won’t have to deal with any more pain or anxiety.