We all do things from time to time that we know we shouldn’t do (some of them more harmful than others). While we aren’t here to police your life, we do want to share some bad habits that can ruin your teeth if you aren’t helpful.
If you want to keep your white smile, we encourage you to avoid (or at least limit) these behaviors as they can be very detrimental to your overall dental health.
1 Binge Eating
Most of the time when people binge eat, they aren’t eating healthy foods. Simply put, binge eating can lead to a whole host of problems, including eating disorders, obesity, and poor dental health. Eating too much junk food can wreak havoc on your teeth.
2 Chewing on Ice
Admit it…you’ve done this before, haven’t you? It’s a bad habit and one that many people have indulged in at one point or another. While chewing ice may seem harmless (after all, it’s just water, right?), many people have actually chipped and broken their teeth by trying to crack big pieces of ice.
3 Grinding Your Teet
Whether this is a nervous tick or something you do in your sleep, teeth grinding is a bad habit that can lead to loss of enamel, TMJ issues, and other problems. If you grind your teeth and/or experience frequent headaches, we provide treatment in the form of custom-made dental night guards.
4 Eating Hard Cand
Eating hard candy is a “double danger” because the hardness can crack a tooth and the sugar can erode tooth enamel, which contributes to gum disease over time. If you must chew on something, try gum or candy made with Xylitol.
5 Eating Soft, “Gummy” Candy
Gummy bears, Fruit Gushers, Sour Worms, and other candies like that are packed full of sugar. Simply put, you really shouldn’t eat these types of candy at all, and if you do, brush your teeth and floss immediately after!
While smoking is known to cause lung cancer and bad breath, many people don’t realize just how yellow your teeth can get if you smoke. With all of the information available on smoking, the choice is clear…don’t smoke!
7 Drinking Wine
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional glass of wine or cocktail, these drinks are filled with acid. Just like everything else, they need to be consumed in moderation.
8 Drinking Soda (Especially Dark Colas)
The acid in soda can remove corrosion from car battery terminals, so it’s safe to say they can damage your teeth if consumed consistently. While having the occasional soda is fine, you’ll do your teeth a favor if you set a goal to replace 90% of the sodas you drink with water.
9 Drinking Coffee
Coffee stains are one of the top reasons that people come to our office to have their teeth whitened. Most people add sugar to their coffee and they drink several cups a day. This combination means it doesn’t take long to turn your teeth a dull, yellow color.
10 Not Having a Daily Dental Care Routine
You need to do more than brush your teeth once a day. A proper oral healthcare routine consists of brushing your teeth 2-3 times per day, while also flossing daily. For good measure, using mouthwash like Scope or Listerine once per day can also help fight bacteria and germs.
11 Playing Sports Without a Mouthguar
Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, or any other contact sport, it only takes one bad incident to ruin your teeth. If you (or your kids) play any type of sport, it’s a good idea to invest in a custom, dental-grade mouthguard to protect your smile.
12 Using Your Teeth as Tools
What do you do when the “tear here” area on the package doesn’t seem to work? Do you put it in your mouth and rip it open with your teeth? Bad idea. You can quite easily chip a tooth doing this, so next time the situation presents itself, reach for the scissors.
So what now?
We’re all human. If you indulge in a few of these bad habits from time to time, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just understand that over time, they can have a significant impact on your overall health and wellness.
If you’ve fallen victim to a few of these bad habits and are looking for a new dentist along the South Shore of Long Island, we encourage you to give our office nearest you a call today. We have two convenient locations (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay and Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza) to meet your needs.
Don’t worry, there’s no judgement at our practice! We’ll do a thorough cleaning and exam, and advise you on what you can do in the future to prevent gum disease, cavities, and other problems you may be experiencing. Contact us to schedule your appointment.