Most of us are aware of the basic oral hygiene rules – brush and floss your teeth twice a day, avoid a lot of sweets, visit your dentist regularly, so on and so forth. Yet, a lot of people( including the ones who take their oral hygiene very very seriously) are unknowingly damaging their teeth. Here is a list of some habits you should totally get rid of, to save your teeth and your wallet both!!
Brushing your teeth right after meals: I totally appreciate your dedication to keeping your pearly whites intact. But here’s the truth- it does more harm than good. Let’s understand how. When you eat, the pH of your saliva drops down and it shows acidic properties. It takes nearly 20-30 mins for the saliva to become normal again. If any sort of tooth brushing happens during these 30 mins, the weakened enamel gets damaged and thins out due to the rubbing action of the toothbrush. So make sure you keep a half an hour gap between your meals and your brushing routine. For a detailed article about when to not brush your teeth, click here.
Opening bottles with your teeth: How very convenient..ahem, not really. Our teeth aren’t meant to be used as tools, they have a job and that is to help us eat. If you try and open a bottle, or use it as a tool for anything at all, your teeth can chip off or worse, get fractured. In some cases, the fracture is treatable by placing a cap. In some, the tooth needs to be extracted and an implant needs to be placed. Now, that would be one expensive affair. Instead, let’s keep it simple and just use a bottle opener.
Frequent snacking: It could be the result of boredom, or in some cases a friend or a company that needs to eat something every freaking hour!! Now, let’s recall the first paragraph of the article, and it’s pH theory. When you snack at regular intervals, you make the saliva acidic with every little meal. And this effect is even more profound with the sticky and sugary treats which linger in the mouth for hours. Instead, try eating well balanced and filling foods during your meals. This will take care of the random hunger pangs. Coming to the boredom bit, eating definitely is not a form of entertainment, so go and find something else to do!
Biting on ice or other hard objects: Once done with the drinks, it can be very tempting to bite on that piece of ice left in there. But let’s think of it this way: our teeth being one of the crystals and ice being the other. One will get damaged in the biting process. Most likely, it’s the ice that will give up first and break off. But if you’re unlucky, it’s going to be the other way around. And fixing the damage can require anything from a simple composite restoration to an implant. Not worth the risk, is it?
Playing sports without a mouthguard: How many times have you forgotten to wear your mouthguard during your football matches?? Quite a few times? What most people forget, is, that you need just one blow on your front teeth for them to become irreparable. Here are some key benefits of wearing a mouthguard while indulging into your favorite sports:
- They protect your teeth from all sorts of blows and hits.
- They protect against injuries of the joints of the jaw.
- They protect against soft tissue injuries.
Grinding of the teeth, consciously or unconsciously: Grinding of the teeth can be due to various reasons from stress and anxiety to abnormal teeth alignment. Irrespective of the reasons, grinding can cause a plethora of problems. It can result in flattening, loosening, or in extreme cases, loss of teeth. It can also lead to headaches and other jaw problems. If you suspect you could be doing it, do visit your dentist. He/She will fit you with a mouthguard to protect your teeth at night. You can also reach out to a therapist to reduce the stress factor in your life.
(P.S- While you stay away from these habits damaging your precious teeth, remember to brush and floss your teeth, twice a day, everyday single day!!)