We all have some bad habits – like not exercising enough… or at all. We may watch too much television. But there are things that we may do that wind up damaging our oral health.
The habits that are listed here extend far beyond the usual ‘not brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing once” pointers. Yes, people still need to be reminded of that, but this will be branching far out – though it will still only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways people neglect to take care of their teeth.
Not Wearing a Mouthguard When Playing Sports
While there are some sports where a mouthguard is mandatory – think boxing – a lot of people go out and play sports without one and put themselves at tremendous risk. They may go out and play pick-up basketball without worrying about a stray elbow or errant pass to the face. The same could be said for touch or flag football – tackle football with helmets and pads tend to require mouthguards.
Even in some sports where players wear helmets with either face bars or a plexiglass shield, it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard because there are still instances where one might bite down hard during an impact and the mouthguard can prevent or at the very least mitigate any damage. Even if you think it looks silly, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Grinding Your Teeth
This condition where you grind your teeth together, also called bruxism, is usually a subconscious problem, done while sleeping. It’s something that can seriously wear down and damage teeth if not properly addressed right away. It can also lead to tension headaches.
The best way to get fix it is to have a mouthguard made that you sleep while wearing it. It will keep the teeth from grinding together. Trying to ignore the problem will only lead to more issues down the road. If you think that you are grinding your teeth, go see your dentist immediately.
Chewing on Ice
It’s a hot day and there’s nothing like cooling down with a mouthful of ice cubes, slowly chewing on them. It relaxes you. You’re also setting yourself up for potential damage to your teeth since the harness of the cubes may weaken the enamel and the rest of the tooth.
The biggest risk is to have a tooth fracture when you do that. The fracture will grow and then eventually the whole tooth may split. Then you will find yourself in the emergency room seeing a dentist. Just drink cold beverages instead if you feel like you have to cool down.
Drinking These Particular Beverages in Abundance
Water is the best thing to drink, but people always want to have something with flavor in them – soda, sports drinks, fruit juice, and coffee to name a few. The problem is that they can do a number on your teeth in a variety of ways. Sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juice all have sugar in them, which will then mix with saliva and cause acids to attack enamel – for 20 minutes per sip. Coffee can stain teeth and also has caffeine that dries up the mouth and prevents saliva from cleaning bacteria out.
If you have to have these, see about getting diet or sugar-free versions of these drinks. There are also caffeine-free versions of some sodas and decaf coffee is in abundance. It’s all about moderation and you should also drink some water too to offset any potential problems.
There are a lot of other things that can be done to damage teeth – like chewing on pencils to getting tongue piercings and then not taking proper care of them. Remember, we all have one set of adult teeth… after that, it’s dentures and dental implants. You don’t have to not enjoy things in life, it’s just a matter of common sense and realizing and then stop doing them.
Dr. Shaista Najmi and the staff at Ivory Dental Jacksonville will be glad to work with patients so they can stop doing some of these habits. They want them to have the best smile – and will be glad to answer any questions during an appointment. Give them a call at 904-998-1555.