The trick to a beautiful smile is beautiful teeth. So in order to make sure that your teeth are in perfect condition, you brush your teeth, use mouthwash and floss regularly. But are these enough to protect your teeth from damage and decay? You might be surprised how prone your teeth are to damage simply because of everyday habits such as:
Bruxism (Grinding your teeth): Do you ever find yourself clenching your teeth during moments of stress or anxiety? The upper and lower rows of teeth are only supposed to touch briefly during chewing, but if you find yourself doing so without any specific reason, you might be suffering from jaw clenching or bruxism. Such a tendency can cause your teeth to become shorter in height and increase their sensitivity because while you grind your teeth, the teeth substance gradually wears off due to friction.
Drinking soft drinks and sucking on lemons: Who does not love sodas and colas right? The fizzy, sugary liquid may taste good, but drinking them on a daily basis can be very harmful for your teeth. Such drinks are primarily composed of acidic chemicals, which can gradually erode the minerals of the teeth in a process called dental erosion. It can lead to yellow teeth and sensitivity. Sucking on fruits like lemons can give rise to similar problems.
Brushing the wrong way: We all know that brushing your teeth regularly is a must for healthy teeth, but did you know that if you brush the wrong way you may be causing more harm than good? Do not use your brush in a rhythmic horizontal motion, as it can cause damage to the base of your teeth and give rise to various other dental problems. The best way to brush your teeth is to keep the brush tilted at 45 degrees, using gentle, vertical strokes. Start by brushing the back teeth first and cover two or three teeth at a time.
Breathing through your mouth and sucking your thumb: Thumb sucking is a habit that most of us had during childhood. But this seemingly harmless habit can cause problems like protrusion of the upper front teeth, teeth misalignment etc. Breathing with the mouth open can also cause analogous problems.
Using your teeth as a tool: Do you often use your teeth to tear open packets or to unscrew bottles? Such habitual actions inflict a lot of physical trauma on your teeth in the form of cracks, fractures etc.
Chewing on hard food: Chewing on hard food like cracking open nut shells or crunching on ice can also cause damage by giving rise to cracks and chipping away of certain teeth.
Using toothpick to remove food: At the end of a meal, if you find food stuck in between your teeth, never use toothpicks as they can damage the base of the teeth and gums. Flossing is a much better substitute in this case.
Biting your nails: Are you one of those people who can’t help biting their nails? Then you should know that such actions can wear the enamel (the outermost layer of teeth) away and increase sensitivity.
Do you have any of these habits? If so, it is high time that you got rid of them, because such acts can not only damage your teeth but also ruin your beautiful smile.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe, a Sugar Land dental office. Zane chews on ice, but is trying to quit.