Six bad habits to avoid for a healthy tooth
In this article, you will learn some of the nasty habits to avoid to protect your teeth from
tooth decay and discoloration. Learn what causes teeth grinding, the best ways to keep
your teeth white, and how to avoid cavities by making simple, effective changes to your
1. Avoid Chewing Ice
Chewing ice is a seemingly harmless, often unconscious habit. But ice chewing can cause
permanent damage to our teeth, putting small cracks in the enamel.
These cracks can grow larger over time and ultimately cause a tooth to fracture, requiring
a visit to the dentist and unnecessary expense to get the cracks fixed. If you find yourself
chewing ice as a habit, try opting for chilled water instead, or order your drinks without ice
to resist the harmful urge to chew those cubes.
2. Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Exhausted parents might be tempted to do anything to get their restless babies to sleep.
Although it is tempting, avoid sending your bouncing bundle of joy to bed with a
bottle in his or her mouth. That’s because of a condition called baby bottle tooth
What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Bottles of milk at bedtime increase the risk of early dental decay in baby’s mouth.
Prolonged exposure of the sugar in milk works with mouth bacteria to break down
tooth enamel and results in rampant decay.
Here are some tips to help you protect your baby’s teeth to ensure a healthy upbringing:
• Don’t send baby to bed with a bottle unless that bottle only contains water.
• Skip the sippy cup: only use regular cups and begin introducing them between ages six and eight months.
• Wean your baby off the bottle by the time he or she turns 1.
• As soon as you see the teeth pop up, start brushing them at least once a day.
• Avoid sticky, sweet, starchy snacks that can lead to tooth decay. Instead try whole grains, cheese, plain yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.
• Encourage your children to drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, juice, and sports drinks.
3. Avoid Teeth Grinding
You are not alone, if you find yourself grinding your teeth. In the US, roughly 30 to 40
million people grind their teeth. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be an inherited
trait, and it is often linked to stress or anxiety. While teeth grinding can happen at any time,
many people grind their teeth in their sleep without knowing it.
Teeth grinding may pose an assortment of health problems to your mouth. These include:
• chipped tooth enamel,
• cracked teeth,
• loose teeth,
• flat, worn-down teeth,
• joint problems, and
• tooth loss.
Because teeth grinding often happens while asleep, many people don’t realize they’re doing it.
Some symptoms of teeth grinding include
• loose teeth,
• neck aches, earaches, and dull headaches,
• a jaw that’s tired and sore, and
• a clicking sound when you open your mouth.
Talk to a dentist if you suspect you may be grinding your teeth. Your dentist may recommend
one of the following treatments:
• a mouth guard,
• a bite adjustment (correcting the way your top and bottom teeth fit together),
• reducing stress, and
• medications to relieve sore muscles.
4. Avoid Soda
High sugar and acid content make for a bad combination for your teeth. Frequent soda drinking will
essentially bathe your teeth in sugar and can lead to dental decay.
Additionally, increased acid exposure works to erode tooth enamel and can lead to teeth sensitivity.
If you insist on drinking soda, try these tips:
• Cut back on the soda you drink every day.
• Opt for the healthier thirst-quencher, water.
• Minimize the erosion of enamel by rinsing with water after your teeth have been exposed to acidic beverages.
• Try sipping acidic drinks through a straw to avoid contact with the teeth.
• Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing with a soft toothbrush after acid exposure to avoid further breakdown and wear of your enamel.
• Tearing Into Packaging With Teeth
• Teeth are meant for eating and smiling! Any other use can be unhealthy; your teeth are not knives, and they’re not scissors either.
• Although it may seem convenient in the short term, opening potato chip bags, bobby pins, or even bottle caps with your teeth can cause teeth to chip or fracture. To save your teeth, reach for the proper tools for such tasks instead.
5. Avoid Drinking Coffee
• A morning cup of coffee helps many of us start the day. Unfortunately, caffeine can interfere with saliva flow, cause a dry mouth, and lead to tooth decay.
• Also, adding sugar to your brew increases the risk of tooth decay even more. To counteract the effect of a dry mouth from caffeine, drink water frequently throughout the day.
6. Avoid Smoking
Did you need another reason to quit smoking? Well, here’s one: Tobacco use dries out the mouth
and increases the amount of plaque buildup around our teeth. Smokers are more likely to lose teeth
compared to nonsmokers due to gum disease.
Additionally, tobacco use is a big risk factor for oral cancer. To increase your chances of success
in kicking this unhealthy habit, seek help from your doctor.