Brushing your teeth twice a day? Check. Flossing every day? Check. Avoiding extra sugary drinks? Check. If you are doing everything right, then what are the habits that wreck your teeth? It does make you think and if you didn’t know, prepare your mind to be blown.
You would be surprised that there are certain habits that are detrimental to your oral health. And, the worst part is that you are possibly doing it every single day.
Don’t worry though; we got your back (and your teeth). Scroll down to find about those bad habits that are bad for your teeth.
Habits that wreck your teeth
To be honest, it is a misconception that your teeth are at risk only when you are stuffing your face with sugar.
While that does affect your teeth and oral health, there are some “underrated” yet dangerous habits that wreck your teeth may further harm you.
By the end of you reading this, I want you to count back on how many you didn’t know were bad habits.
1. Biting your nails
Often considered as a harmless habit, biting your nails is doing worse to your teeth than you can even imagine.
Persistent and daily nail biting (R) mhas been found to contribute to chipping of the teeth. Not just that, the extreme cases of this can even contribute to jaw dysfunction.
Nail biting is a habit acquired by individuals when they find themselves in extremely stressful situations.
The worst part of this habit is that people don’t even realize they are doing it at times. Being antsy is one of the common reasons.
If you want to get rid of this habit, try painting your nails with bitter nail polish.
2. Chomping down ice cubes
We often like throwing in a few ice cubes into our drinks and chew on them in the end once the drink in done.
While this habit might seem pretty harmless and provide a soothing effect to your oral cavity, it is doing your teeth worse.
Chewing frozen ice cubes can end up chipping your teeth and in extreme cases, cause cracks in the teeth as well.
Often, you might end up injuring the soft tissue inside your teeth as well, further causing toothaches and enhances sensitivity.
It is thus best to either suck on some ice cubes or avoid them altogether if you don’t want the same to damage your teeth.
3. Consuming sugary beverages
Sugary treats are every person’s guilty pleasure. But, making it a habit is going to end up doing you no good.
Sugary beverages (R) like sweet tea or even soda increase the risks of plaque accumulation and staining of the teeth.
If there is uncontrolled accumulation of plaque, the same increases the acidic nature in the oral cavity, later eating into the teeth gradually.
Excessive consumption of sugary treats and drinks also enhance the risks of gingivitis.
4. Skipping out on flossing
When talking about the habits that wreck your teeth, not flossing is one of the most common ones.
The majority of the people either don’t take this step of their oral hygiene seriously or don’t do it properly.
Both of them affect your teeth and oral health for the worse.
Flossing helps in getting rid of the stuck food inside the crevices and gaps of the teeth. Not just that, it also gets rid of the bacterial growth that contributes to the cavity.
If you have been skipping out on this step, chances are that you are contributing to gradual tooth decay.
It is true that you are likely going to experience irritation and bleeding in the initial days but the same gets better over time.
Flossing is also important to strengthen your gums.
5. Giving bedtime bottles to kids
Babies do get hungry during the night, trying to reach out for their feeding bottle. But, leaving one in their crib or letting them fall asleep with the pacifier in their mouth will affect their oral health.
It affects the new teeth that are coming out of the gums, causing decay before they are even out.
The sugar from the milk is what often contributes to this issue.
If your baby has a habit of needing a feed at night, come out and give them a bottle yourself. Don’t let them sleep with the bottle in their mouth.
6. Consistent grinding of teeth – Bruxism
Although it is noticed more in kids, Bruxism (R) or uncontrolled grinding of the teeth is a condition that can affect anyone.
People suffering from bruxism often complain about constant grinding or clenching of their teeth. This tends to affect them more during night.
It is quite difficult to control the situation during night time, which is why the risks of chipping of your teeth and pain in the jaws are quite common.
Bruxism does require a very thorough study for the individuals to get a better idea of the underlying cause.
One of the best ways to tackle this issue is by wearing night time teeth guard that can help prevent your teeth from grinding.
7. Brushing teeth after every meal
Brushing your teeth twice a day, 30-40 minutes after a meal, is more than enough to keep your oral hygiene in check.
But, many people do tend to take things way more seriously, ending up brushing their teeth multiple times, preferably after every meal.
Don’t do that.
If you didn’t know of the habits that wreck your teeth, this is one of them.
Brushing your teeth right after eating a meal contributes to enamel erosion. Wondering why?
Well, the pH levels of the mouth after a meal are pretty low, meaning that it has a very acidic environment.
When you brush your teeth right after a meal, you are likely aggravating the top layer of the teeth, causing the erosion eventually.
Every time you brush your teeth after a meal, make sure that you at least wait for 30-40 minutes before going in with the toothbrush.
8. Going extra hard with the toothbrush
There is no need for you to implement all your muscle strength while brushing your teeth. In fact, if you do that, it is likely one of the habits that wreck your teeth and affects the gums.
Being rigorous with brushing ends up affecting your gums, eventually making them bleed as well.
These can even contribute to the risks of gum disease.
According to the American Dental Association(R), brushing your teeth for 2 minutes in a day each time is enough. There is no need for you to go ham with the brush.
Try and use a soft bristle brush and be gentle with the process of brushing. Instead of being too rough and harsh, try and keep the motions in control and gentle.
9. Getting a tongue piercing
Even though this might not categorise as a habit, it is still worth a mention.
Getting tongue piercing might seem pretty cool and trendy but the aftermath of the same is not favourable for your teeth(R) at all.
Majority of the people who have gotten their tongue pierced have complained on accidentally biting down on it with their teeth.
Since the piercing is made of metal, it imposes risks of causing cracks in the teeth.
Not just that, piercing the tongue can enhance the risks of infections if the aftercare isn’t done properly.
One of the most threatening impacts that tongue piercing impose is breaking open a blood vessel during the process. Don’t be shocked because this is pretty common, especially if you get it done by someone unprofessional.
Before you are planning on doing something like this, just talk to your dentist once.
10. Drinking too much tea or coffee
Both tea and coffee are termed as tooth staining drinks.
Not just these, even wine and soda can contribute to tooth staining.
If you are complaining about yellow and stained teeth, you need to look back on your habit of drinking the drinks that contribute to it.
Nobody is telling you to stop drinking tea or coffee but try and drink them in moderation so you do end up struggling with stained teeth later in life.
11. Excessive bleaching of teeth
Every single one of us wants to achieve those perfect pearly whites and the best way to do that is by bleaching your teeth.
While some use the home-based natural remedies, some seek medical help to get their teeth whitened.
Whatever the option be, doing anything in excess is not good for your teeth.
One of the bad habits that can harm your teeth and cause erosion of the enamel is with excessive bleaching.
Not only do they erode the enamel, they can also make your teeth more prone to sensitivity with the open nerve endings.
Before using any of the bleaching products, try and consult a doctor to assess the correct frequency of usage and the way of usage as well.
12. Sucking thumb
Children do tend to have a habit of sucking on their thumb to ease their stress and pressure. It is a natural instinct to help soothe their irritation.
But, persistently doing this, especially during the age of teething in the child can contribute to the risks of deformed and crooked teeth formation.
This condition is also pretty serious when the child has their permanent teeth forming. If they keep sucking on their thumb during that phase, the obstruction can cause the formation of crooked teeth.
It also contributes to the misalignment of the teeth, further imposing negative impacts.
If your child has been showing signs of not stopping this habit, consult your dentist to get a probable cure for the same.
13. Using your teeth as a tool
Your teeth are meant for eating and chewing on your food, not for opening your beer bottle.
Often, we find ourselves using our teeth as a tool to open stuff when we don’t find the suitable tool around for that.
While it is okay for you to tear open the softer items like a bag of chips, it is riskier when we are talking about opening a bottle of beer.
One of the most common habits that make your teeth crooked is by using your teeth as a bottle opener.
Not only crooked, you might also experience the risks of gum bleeding if the bottle slips from your grip.
Especially if you are older or in your mid life, it is likely that your teeth are not as sharp as they used to be. Using them as a tool further imposes the risks of injury.
14. Sucking on cough drops
Cough drops come in pretty handy to soothe your complaints of sore throat and constant coughing, right?
But, what if I told you that doing that is contributing as one of the bad habits that affects your teeth and oral health?
As soothing as the cough drops are, they are also loaded with sugar.
When you suck on a cough drop and have it inside your mouth for a long time, the sugar tends to retain inside the oral cavity for a long time as well.
This ends up reacting with the sticky plaque on the teeth, further enhancing the risks of infection and gum disease.
Not just that, the bacteria also reacts to make the oral cavity even more acidic, which can erode the teeth enamel, making your teeth even more sensitive.
15. Using a hard bristled toothbrush
Yet another one that needs to be in the list of habits that are bad for teeth is the usage of hard bristled toothbrush.
They have very sharp and rough ends, which enhance the risks of gum disease and gum bleeding.
Not just that, using a hard bristled toothbrush paired with a rigorous brushing motion causes the enamel to erode off of your teeth.
Often times, the damage caused because of such a hard bristled toothbrush are irreversible.
This is the reason why making a switch to a soft bristled toothbrush is the need of the hour. Not just that, also ensure that you change your toothbrush every 3 months.
Smoking not just affects your lungs, inducing the risks of lung cancer; it also ends up affecting your oral health.
The reason why this is listed under the habits that wreck your teeth is because that is exactly what it does.
The tobacco present in the cigarettes has direct impacts on staining of the teeth. Not just that, it can also make your teeth fall, especially because of the formation of gum disease.
If you are a heavy smoker, do yourself a favour and stop smoking.
17. Ignoring acid reflux
Acid reflux or heartburn is not conditions that you need to take lightly. That is not how things are supposed to pan out. To be fair, the reason why ignoring these health issues are categorised as habits that are bad for your teeth is because it causes the pH levels to drop in the mouth.
The persistent acidic pH of the mouth can often end up causing discomfort and cause erosion of the top layer of the teeth.
If you tend to brush right after an episode of acid reflux or after vomiting, don’t do that. Simple rinse your mouth and wait for the pH to balance out first.
If you brush your teeth when your oral cavity is acidic, chances are that the same will end up affecting your teeth enamel.
Make sure to consult a doctor and a dentist to get both of the issues checked out and treated on time.
18. Constantly snacking on something
Snacking is a nice way to keep your metabolism going and your glucose levels sustained in the body.
But, if you are constantly munching and snacking on something, it is likely that this is one of the habits that wreck your teeth.
The reason why that happens is because of the lack of salivary production while snacking. Unlike a normal meal, the saliva produced during snacking is very minimal.
As a result, you are likely going to have a lot of smaller food particles stuck inside your teeth till the next time you brush them.
This can further make your teeth more prone to cavity and plaque buildup.
Try and avoid excessive snacking and even if you do, eat something that is less in sugar and has more water content.
19. Gorging down extra acidic foods
Highly acidic foods like lemons and any citrus fruit in general is not the best for your teeth enamel.
It is true that they are very fruitful for your overall health but consuming them without any restrictions can end up eroding your teeth enamel.
This often makes your teeth appear stained and darker and even increase the sensitivity because of the erosion of the enamel.
In extreme cases, you might even need some assistance from a dentist to get things back in place.
20. Rinsing your mouth after brushing
Are you someone who rinses their mouth with water after brushing their teeth?
Chances are that you are doing it all wrong.
Our toothpastes have fluoride in them which is necessary for stronger teeth and a better oral health. When you are brushing your teeth and then rinsing it off with water, you are washing away the fluoride with it.
This can make your teeth more prone to cavity and plaque.
The best way to overcome that is by switching to a mouth wash instead of water. Once you are done brushing your teeth, instead of water, use a mouth wash to rinse your teeth.
This keeps the fluoride levels intact, helping keep your teeth and gums healthy.
These are some of the habits that wreck your teeth. How many of these have you been doing on a daily basis? If the answer is more than it should be, it is time that you introduce better and healthier swaps. Focus on your dental health the right and informed way to keep your pearly whites in the best shape and your smile the brightest.