10 Habits That Damage Your Teeth

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Are you causing tooth damage without even realising? Every single day, there are many small habits that you may make without knowing how much damage they potentially cause to your teeth. From brushing too hard all the way to chewing on pencils or using your teeth to open packages, these habits may not seem too bad at face value. Over time, however, they can all affect the health of your teeth. What are the worst habits that lead to tooth damage, you may be wondering? Keep reading to find out.

The Worst Habits That Cause Tooth Damage

Some of the biggest habits that can increase your risk of tooth damage include the following:

1/ Hard brushing

Although regular tooth brushing twice a day is essential, brushing too hard can cause more harm than good. When you brush too hard, you wear down your tooth enamel, irritate the gum, cause cavities, and increase sensitivity. Use a soft bristled brush and be conscious of how hard you are brushing.

2/ Using your teeth as tools

If you frequently tear packets open with your teeth, or, worse, use your teeth to open tight lids or other things that won’t budge, you could increase the risk of tooth chips. You will also wear down your enamel, putting you at increased risk of cavities and other issues.

3/ Drinking coffee

One or two cups of coffee won’t do too much damage. Frequent cups over the course of the day will quickly turn your teeth a dull, yellow or even brown colour. If you add sugar, the combination of caffeine and sugar will also cause damage to your teeth.

4/ Drinking colas and other sodas

Fizzy, sugary drinks are loaded with acid. Everyone has seen those videos where rusted nails are cleaned in a glass of Coca-Cola. Imagine what regular drinking of these drinks can do to your teeth! It is never a problem to have a fizzy drink once in a while – just make sure that you do not drink these drinks exclusively.

5/ Smoking

A bad habit for your health in many other areas besides dental health, smoking can cause yellow and brown teeth over time and also cause many other issues. Read our blog article on the risks of smoking to see just how much damage it can do to your teeth.

6/ Grinding your teeth

You might not even realise how much you grind your teeth or you may do it in your sleep. Over time, teeth grinding can cause the erosion of enamel and also increase your risk of TMJ and other issues. If you grind your teeth or you have frequent headaches and sore teeth, speak to your dentist about a custom made dental night guard.
7/ Chewing on ice

Chewing on ice is something that everyone has done at some point. It may seem harmless (especially as it is just water and not anything sugary or acidic). Over time, you can increase your risk of chipped or broken teeth when you chew on any hard substance such as ice.

8/ Chewing on pencils

Another thing to stop chewing on is pencils. Many people do this without thinking, holding a pencil or another object and chewing when busy with something that requires concentration. The problem is that you often don’t realise how hard you are biting down. You can cause the teeth to shift, crack or break.

9/ Nail biting

Nail biting also causes dental issues. Most nail biters do so chronically. Over time, there is an increased risk of broken or chipped teeth or splintered tooth enamels. You could try using a substance that tastes horrible to get rid of this habit or, better yet, keep your nails clipped short.

10/ Drinking red wine

All wines contain acids that destroy tooth enamel. Red wine is especially bad for tooth damage as it is rich in pigments such as chromogen and tannins. That means that the deep red colour sticks to the teeth more easily. Having a glass now and then is fine as long as you do not overdo it or forget to schedule tooth whitening sessions regularly.

You can counter-act the effect of these bad dental habits by investing in some good dental habits. Regular dental appointments, dental cleaning, and a proper dental routine will all help to keep your teeth in optimal health. Contact us today to find out more about our dentists in Durban can help reduce tooth damage.