You visit your dentist twice a year as recommended by experts, and brush your teeth twice a day. You may even floss regularly. All in all, you have pretty good dental hygiene and look after your smile better than most.
Having said that, there are a range of bad habits you probably regularly engage with which are damaging to your teeth. Here are a few things you should avoid to preserve your teeth.
Using your teeth as a tool
Many people rely on their teeth for unusual and potentially damaging things. These can range from opening bottles to tearing open a bag or wrapper or removing a price tag, etc.
Long term, this can potentially be harmful and weaken your teeth – it can even cause them to chip off so you need to be careful about what you put in your mouth.
Grinding your teeth can be caused by a variety of things, usually stress and anxiety. It can occur both during the day as well as overnight. If your teeth tend to hurt when you wake up in the morning, you may be suffering from it.
In the long run, grinding can wear down your teeth and cause damage. If you think you’re suffering from it, speak to your dentist. Dentists often suggest patients wear mouth guards during the night, which can go a long way in addressing the issue.
When the face develops in childhood and adolescence, regular thumb sucking can lead to crooked teeth or biting related problems, such as an open bite or overbite. In the long term, these will require correction through lengthy and potentially expensive dental treatment.
Thumb sucking in adulthood is widely believed to be harmless, as your facial structure is already fully formed. But who wants to be an adult who sucks their thumb!
Finally, avoid chewing on ice. This can lead to a weakening of the enamel surfaces and weaken the tooth. If your teeth are already partially damaged, the coldness of the ice can even cause a fracture.
Crushed ice is less harmful than big cubes, although you’d be wise to avoid chewing on either.