6 Everyday habits that are ruining your teeth
We ask a lot out of our teeth. They come in when we’re just kids, and then we expect them make it through 80+ years of meals, sports, smiles and more. That’s a lot! Unfortunately, you’re probably doing things every day that hurt your teeth’s chances of making it to 80. If you want to be taking pictures with your great-grandkids with a strong, bright smile, make sure you’re not doing these six things that can ruin your teeth.
1. Drinking too many sodas
They’re fizzy and delicious, but sodas can seriously rot your teeth in two different ways. The first is that they’re packed with sugar. A single can of Coca-Cola has 39 grams of sugar, which is a whopping 10 teaspoons! Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which creates acid that can erode the enamel of your teeth and cause cavities.
But sugar isn’t the only offender in a soda. Sodas of all types are highly acidic, which weakens the enamel of your teeth and can open the door to cavities, discoloration and damage.
2. Constant snacking
If you’re a grazer – someone who snacks all day – your teeth are constantly in an environment where bacteria can grow. Cavity-causing bacteria feasts on leftover food particles, and if you’re snacking all day, the bacteria in your mouth is, too.
3. Using your teeth to open things
Your teeth are not scissors. Using them as such can lead to broken teeth, chipped teeth, lost fillings, and injuries to your mouth and gums. Yes, your teeth are strong and they get the job done … until they don’t, and you end up at the emergency dentist with a cracked tooth. Don’t risk it. Just go find the scissors!
4. Biting your nails
Fingernails are softer than teeth, so that means biting your nails is harmless, right? Wrong. While your teeth are stronger than the material that makes up your fingernails, regularly biting your nails can eventually wear down the enamel on the biting tips of your teeth. Not to mention, hands are covered in all types of yucky stuff even if they look clean, so chewing your fingernails can introduce dangerous germs, viruses and bacteria into your mouth – making you sick or even causing infections in your gums.
5. Chewing on ice
Ice is calorie-free, so why not snack on it? Because our teeth aren’t designed to chew anything as hard as ice. Chewing ice can cause you to break or chip teeth, and you may also dislodge dental work like crowns and fillings. Drink your water, and snack on something else!
6. Brushing too hard
When it comes to brushing your teeth, harder is not better! Brushing your teeth with too much force can cause wear and tear on your enamel as well as cause gum recession. When your gums recede, it can cause painful tooth sensitivity as well as open up your gums to bacteria that can cause gingivitis.