Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth, but that’s not the only thing that damage them. There are other foods and behaviors that could be ruining your teeth, and you might not even know it. Perhaps you try to limit your sugar intake to keep your teeth healthier for longer. But unless you’re watching out for these damaging things, you could be missing some of the essential ways to care for your oral health. From eating starchy food to using your teeth for things other than chewing, be careful of these habits that could leave lasting effects.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
You might know someone who has a party trick that involves popping off a bottle cap with their teeth – or perhaps you are that person. But our teeth aren’t built for chomping down on hard materials and using them as a bottle opener could lead to a broken tooth. In fact, it’s not a good idea to use your mouth to do anything similar. It’s better just to find the right tool for the job.
Tooth Grinding a Jaw Clenching
A lot of people have the tendency to bite down when they’re stressed. You might do it when you’re angry, upset or nervous. But grinding your teeth can wear them down and cause permanent damage. Try to catch yourself doing it and remember to relax your jaw. Some relaxation techniques might help. Some people also grind in their sleep without realizing it, and in this case wearing a retainer at night can help.
Crunching on Ice Cubes or Hard Candies
Biting down on hard things won’t do too much damage now and then, but constantly crunching could have adverse effects. Your hard candies might be sugar-free, but they could still hurt your teeth. And ice cubes could be a double whammy because they’re both cold and hard. It’s best to refrain from chewing on them and opt for a cool drink (but not too cold).
Eating Starchy Food
Everyone worries about sugars, but eating foods with lots of starch can be damaging too. It raises acid levels in your mouth and could lead to cavities. If you visit a Denver dentist or a professional in your hometown, they can tell you what foods to avoid. So if you’ve ditched the sugar but are still munching on chips, it might be time to swap them for some vegetables and dip instead.
Brushing Your Teeth After Eating Acidic Food
Acidic food like lemons or oranges can be bad for your teeth too. We often make the assumption of assuming fruit is good for us, but the sugar and acids in them can be trouble. If you enjoy eating citrus fruits, make sure you wait a while before brushing your teeth. The acid can soften the enamel, so brushing too soon could wear it away.
If you want to care for your teeth, watch out for these troublesome habits. You can avoid them by changing your diet and keeping up good oral health.