7 Habits That Will Ruin Your Teeth
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body yet we still manage to wear it down and sometimes even break or chip it. Although there are hundreds of things people do that are bad for their teeth, we have chosen 7 of the most common ones. If you are able to relate to more than a couple of these habits then you may need to change your ways before its too late!
1. Tongue piercings
Although having a tongue piercing is not a habit per-se, what you do with it is. If you keep the piercing in your mouth all of the time then you are likely at risk of some dental damage. It is not just tongue piercings that can be detrimental to your teeth but any facial piercings that go inside the mouth can pose a risk. These piercings could also damage expensive dental work that you may have had done. Tongue piercings pose the highest threat during sporting activities. As you are running around, the piercing in your mouth will rattle and bash against the insides of your teeth.This may not cause any damage to begin with, however, repetitive knocks onto your teeth, with such a hard material as metal, will take its toll and eventually cause damage to your teeth. As a consequence, you may end up needing a trip to the emergency dentist! It is therefore important to get yourself into the habit of removing your tongue piercing before playing any sport. It is those that forget to take it out that will end up chipping their teeth in the long run. For help on how and when it is safe to remove your tongue piercing, check out this helpful guide from WikiHow.
2. Chewing on Ice Cubes
Although chewing on anything hard is bad practice for your dental health, Ice cubes have properties that can lead to much worse effects on your teeth. Whilst you are crunching up ice cubes in your mouth, you are inflicting a cycle of hot and cold temperatures on your teeth. This variation in temperature can mean that you are at a high risk of developing small cracks in your tooth enamel. The case becomes worse if you happen to have any fillings. Fillings are made from a different material to your teeth, and so will react differently to changes in temperatures. This means that the size of the filling will expand and contract at different rates compared to your teeth. The consequence of this is that you may have to return to your dentist to have your filling replacement much sooner than you had expected.
3. Grinding the Teeth
Grinding your teeth can be the result of various factors.In a previous article we actually discussed how anxiety can be a dominant factor in teeth grinding. This especially occurs whilst the sufferer is asleep. For some, the act of teeth grinding may be a force of habit. If this is the case then you would be wise to take action as soon as you can. The problems that can arise due to teeth grinding are vast. Severe grinding can aggravate the temporomandibular joints (or TMJs). This can cause difficulty in moving the jaw muscles. Some people may even find that it hurts when they open their mouth to talk.A common sign that you may be suffering from teeth grinding is that your TMJs will be enhanced in size. You may be interested to know that this issue is easily solved as outlined in a case study following one of our patients treatment in rectifying this problem.
4. Chewing on Pencils
If teeth had laws, there would certainly be one against this. It is fairly self-explanatory that you shouldn't be chewing on objects such as pencils. However, it is easy to find yourself committing this crime against your teeth. The teeth will slowly be worn down as a result of this constant chewing and before you know it you will be on your way to the dentist. If you are struggling to kick this habit then perhaps try chewing on some sugar-free gum. At least, whilst your chewing that you can get back to using your pencil for its real purpose!
We all know that smoking cigarettes will lead to a discolouration of the teeth. However this is not the only consequence that you teeth may endure. Bad breath is a telltale consequence from smoking. There are ways you can limit the effect but you will not be able to remove it altogether unless you completely stop smoking. Smoking will increase the build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. There is also an increased risk of leukoplakia. This is where small white patches appear on the inside of the mouth. A potential solution to this problem is to switch over to e-cigarettes. You can read about the benefits here.
6.Playing Sports Without aGum Shield
There is a reason we have gum shields and it's in the name, partly. When playing contact sports it is often the case we end up taking knocks to the face. A gum shield does a great job of shielding the teeth from damage. However, they can be awkward to wear. In some cases, if the gum shield is poorly fitted, you may even get a little sore on the inside of your mouth. This is where the problems start. You get fed up one day and decide to take to the playing field with your teeth out for all to see. Sadly a little thing called Sod's Law usually strikes and you end up sat in the Dentists waiting room with three of your teeth in your hand.
7. MistakingYour Teeth ForTools
The teeth are surprisingly useful to those who neglect them. There is even a world record for the person who has moved the longest distance whilst holding a table in the air by their teeth (11.80m for those interested). You have probably found yourself using your teeth to open plastic lids, to rip off bits of sellotape or as a manicure kit for your nails. The big risk is that, individually there will not be a huge effect on your teeth from this actions. However the more the habit grows, the bigger the effect left on your teeth. Before you know it you will have chipped or damaged your teeth and be wishing you had not taken advantage of them! A closing message from everyone at Bamboo is that the reality is, your teeth are not tools for everything. You are better off using them for what they were made for. There are times to get creative, but not with your teeth!