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Top 10 Habits That Damage Your Teeth

gum disease, healthy teeth and gums, TMJ problems, Teeth grinding, Top 10 Habits That Damage Your Teeth
Everyone has habits. Some are fun, some are a little crazy, and some are going to be costly if continued. Habits that harm your teeth fit into this last category. Keeping your teeth looking great certainly has its benefits and everyone loves a great smile. However, unless you stop these 10 bad habits, it will end up costing you a considerable sum at the dentist’s office to repair. Here are the Top 10 Habits That Damage Your Teeth

1. Failing to Keep Teeth Clean

If you do not brush your teeth twice a day and floss, you are slowly destroying your teeth. This lets the plaque buildup on your teeth, which also contains acid, and it will lead to cavities, tartar formation, and then gum disease. If you already have mild gum disease, you can usually remove it by developing this oral habit.

2. Drinking Acidic Drinks

In addition to the acid that naturally forms in your mouth from the bacteria, adding even more acid will only speed up the erosion of your tooth enamel, leading to cavities. Some acidic drinks are even thought to be healthy, but they are damaging your teeth. These drinks include sodas, alcohol, fruit juice, coffee, tea, and more. Avoid the effects of the acid by rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking it, and drink it at one time – not spread out over hours.

3. Eating Lots of Sweets 

Sugar should be seen as the enemy of healthy teeth and gums. The bacterium that makes the acid that destroys your teeth feeds on sugar. Eating sweets throughout the day is one of those harmful habits that will destroy your teeth rapidly. The bacteria in your mouth will produce acid for the next 20 minutes after each bite or sip of something with sugar in it. 

4. Not Using Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral that helps protect your teeth. It strengthens the enamel against bacteria and acid to help reduce the number of minerals lost each day. It also helps to replace those minerals from your saliva. If you do use fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash, simply spit it out and do not rinse with water afterward. This will leave the fluoride on your teeth longer for better results. 

5. Clenching or Grinding Teeth 

Many people have a habit of clenching their teeth or grinding them. While teeth are very hard, they can still break or chip. Putting constant pressure on them can wear them down, chip or even crack them. It may also result in TMJ problems. Teeth grinding may be caused by sleep apnea, which you may want to be tested for because it can have serious health consequences. 

6. Avoid Diuretic Drinks

Some drinks will naturally help your body get rid of water (urinate). When this happens, it can tend to dry out your mouth, leaving you with only a little saliva. Saliva is important to your oral hygiene because it helps to wash away the bacteria and acid from your teeth and gums. Drinking more water will help to have more saliva, and so will chewing on sugarless gum. When you have less saliva, it enables the bacteria to multiply faster and produce more acid. 

7. Brushing Your Teeth Right After Eating

When you eat acidic foods, the acid in the food will slightly soften the enamel on your teeth. Brushing them while soft will lead to removing tiny flecks of your enamel, which does not grow back. It can also push some of the acids into the enamel where it will reach the next layer – the dentin, which is softer, and it will erode it faster. It is best to rinse your mouth out with water after you eat and then wait about 30 minutes before brushing. 

8. Failing to Use a Mouthguard When Playing Sports

This one really should be a no-brainer. When balls, pucks, or elbows, etc., can hit you in your mouth or teeth, there is always a good possibility that it really can wreck your smile. It can chip, crack, or even knock out teeth, and it is not going to be cheap to repair them. Wearing a mouthguard can help you keep your teeth in good shape. 

9. Brushing Too Hard Damage Your Teeth

If you use a toothbrush with hard bristles, or if you brush hard, it will cause your gums to recede. It does not take much pressure to remove the plaque, so using a lighter hand will be fine, just be sure to do a thorough job. It is also better to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and change it every three months.

10. Not Seeing a Dentist Regularly

Since a dentist can see things in your mouth and gums that you cannot, it only makes sense to get teeth cleanings and oral cancer screenings often. This helps to reduce your dental problems and keep your teeth looking good and intact for years to come. 

Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS

Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can remove tooth decay, treat gum disease, and help restore your oral health. He also provides cosmetic dentistry in his offices in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas. Most dental health plans are accepted. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.