Mindful Munching: Habits That Harm Your Teeth

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Your teeth are your best friends. Without them, you couldn’t enjoy life’s greatest pleasure: food. You need to take good care of your teeth to make sure that they stay in good shape for as long as possible. Everyone knows that they need to keep good dental habits to maintain their chompers, but there are also things you need to avoid that you might not have even considered before.

The teeth are one of the hardest substances in the human body. Despite being coated in enamel, your teeth are surprisingly vulnerable to a lot of things. Here’s a list of bad habits that you need to steer clear of to make sure that your teeth stay in tip-top shape:

Nail Biting

It’s easy to write off nail biting as a harmless, if embarrassing, habit. After all, the teeth are a lot harder than the nails. Well, yes, enamel is significantly harder than keratin. But steel is harder than wood, but you’d still need to sharpen a saw after cutting lumber. The friction on your teeth can still erode the enamel over time and cause significant damage.

There’s also the issue of hygiene. It’s easy to forget where exactly your hands have been if you aren’t actively keeping track. The underside of your nails can harbor lots of harmful bacteria and dirt that can easily cause gum disease. So to help save your teeth and gums, just stop gnawing on your nails.

Not Flossing

Let’s face it, flossing can be uncomfortable. For a lot of people, it’s tempting to just forgo flossing altogether and just stick to brushing. But skipping it is a big mistake. Flossing gets rid of the debris that’s lodged tightly in the gaps between your teeth. If left there unattended, the bits of food in your teeth will eventually lead to a buildup of plaque, which eventually hardens into tartar.

Tartar is a hard, unpleasant substance that clings to your teeth, and it can only be removed by your dentist. It can cause gum disease and tooth decay if left unattended, which can eventually lead to a need for expensive procedures or tooth implants.

Opening Things with Your Teeth

This is a no-brainer, but a lot of people still do this. It’s common to see people opening things such as bags of chips, tearing corks, and even popping metal caps off bottles with their pearly whites. Not only does this damage your tooth enamel, but the force required to open things with your teeth can even damage the roots.

In this day and age, with a pandemic floating around, putting random objects in your mouth is just not a good idea. If you need to open something, don’t be lazy and just grab a pair of scissors, a corkscrew, or a bottle opener. Just don’t abuse your teeth that way.

Chewing on Ice

chewing on ice concept

As satisfying as it can be to chew on ice after you finish your drink, it’s best to avoid it. Ice is pretty hard. When you force two hard substances together, at least one of them has to give. So as satisfying as it might be to crunch ice between your teeth, just don’t. Your teeth will thank you for it.

Chewing on ice can be especially hard on people that have fillings or implants in their teeth. The harsh grinding can damage the hard work your dentist put into your teeth, and it could potentially cost you a lot of money.

Constant Snacking

Whenever you eat something, your mouth gets more acidic. While the acidity does go back to normal levels after a while, constantly snacking throughout the day will keep your mouth acidic for longer than necessary. This can lead to your teeth softening and cause them to be more vulnerable to being damaged.

This is especially dangerous if you’re fond of citrus-based snacks or acidic drinks such as lemonade and orange juice for the same reasons. The constant exposure accelerates the erosion of your tooth enamel and can lead to your teeth feeling sensitive, making them even more vulnerable to damage.

Brushing Too Hard

Given all the other habits on this list, this one probably sounds the most benign. After all, it feels like a good idea to brush hard to get all that gunk out of your teeth. Brushing too harshly can injure your sensitive gums. If you’ve been snacking a lot and washing it all down with lemonade, brushing too hard can wear down your softened tooth enamel.

All in all, it’s best to remember that no matter how durable your teeth are, they aren’t as strong as you think they are. It’s important that you treat your teeth with love and care so that you don’t find yourself toothless too soon.

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