Your teeth are very strong and incredibly important to a normal, healthy lifestyle. If you take care of them properly, they can last your whole life. However, once they’re gone, there’s no getting them back! Improper oral hygiene and dangerous dental habits can lead to dental erosion and eventual tooth loss. Proper care involves more than just brushing and flossing – there are several bad habits that can lead to tooth damage. It can be difficult to break unhealthy habits, but sometimes just knowing how harmful they can be can help you put a stop to them.

The sooner you can put an end to destructive dental habits, the healthier your teeth will be. Today, Advanced Dental Care of Indiana will be highlighting five things you should never do with your teeth. By steering clear of these five bad habits, you can avoid damage and decay and maintain a healthy and radiant smile for the rest of your life!

Use Your Teeth as a Tool

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is crucial to the health of the rest of your body, as your teeth are crucial to eating and speaking. Many people resort to the bad habit of using their front teeth or molars as a tool. It may seem more convenient when tools are not handy; however, putting anything in your mouth that’s not meant to be there can damage your teeth, tongue, and gums.

Your teeth are not meant to cut thread, open packages or bottles, or hold items while your hands are occupied. Using your teeth for these functions is a surefire way to crack or chip a tooth, which can lead to pain and an expensive trip to the dentist. Save yourself the time, money, and trouble by using the proper tool for the task at hand rather than your teeth. Make sure you have scissors, bottle openers, and nutcrackers in a convenient drawer or cabinet, and return these tools to the same place each time so you’ll never have to look for them.

Chew on Hard Objects

The shiny, exterior part of your tooth is called enamel, and it is the hardest substance in the human body, making your teeth incredibly strong. However, this does not make them completely resistant to damage. Many people absentmindedly chew on the end of pens or ice cubes, habits that inevitably lead to all sorts of oral health issues.

According to Richard Price of the American Dental Association, chewing ice is so bad for your teeth that you might as well be chomping down on a rock because your teeth are built to crush into foods, not against them. Tooth enamel can only take so much wear and tear before it begins to crack, chip, or even completely dislodge fillings. The soft tissue inside of your teeth can also become irritated, leading to infection and severe pain.

To keep your teeth healthy and strong, avoid chewing on anything other than food and be careful when eating nuts, olives, popcorn, or bone-in cuts of meat. If you feel a restless urge to chew on something, try a stick of sugarless gum or an apple.

Consume Too Much Sugar

Sugar consumption is the number one cause of tooth decay; bacteria in your mouth thrives on the sugar and acids in soda, juices, and candies, allowing it to slowly eat away at your enamel. Too much sugar consumption puts your teeth at risk of demineralization, inevitably leading to cavities and holes in your teeth.

Completely avoiding sugar is impossible, but eliminating excessive, unnecessary sugar intake can keep your teeth healthier for longer. Try to consume sugar alongside meals, as the excessive saliva produced can help rinse harmful bacteria from your teeth. Be sure to also clean your teeth within 30 minutes of sugar consumption.

Incorrect Brushing

To protect your teeth and maintain proper oral hygiene, it is important to brush your teeth correctly, as doing so will stave off tooth decay and gum disease. There are several factors that determine proper brushing. Do not brush your teeth too forcefully as overly vigorous brushing can lead to enamel deterioration and gum irritation. Alongside this, you want to be sure your toothbrush bristles aren’t too firm. Overly hard bristles can also lead to enamel damage, as well as gum disease and damage to the surfaces of your teeth’s roots. Flossing once a day will remove whatever your toothbrush can’t reach and will also help your gums build resistance to damage. If you need to clean your mouth but don’t have access to a toothbrush, rinse with some water to help remove harmful sugars and acids.

Use Tobacco Products

Tobacco is one of the most harmful substances when it comes to oral health. There is simply no safe way to consume tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco can lead to stained teeth, tooth sensitivity, and even gum disease. This damaging habit also causes a buildup of plaque and tar, inflaming the salivary glands and causing receding gums. All of these issues can eventually lead to the loss of teeth and even oral cancer. The best way to keep your smile healthy and beautiful is to simply abstain from using any tobacco products.

Request an Appointment with Advanced Dental Care of Indiana!

Now that you know five things that you should never do with your teeth, it’s time to go a step further and take proactive measures to take care of your teeth! One of the best ways to maintain good oral health is to make regular appointments with your dentist. At Advanced Dental Care of Indiana, we care about your teeth and will go the extra mile to help you practice good oral hygiene. Request an appointment with us today!