Tuesday, September 3, 2019

7 Things That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth Without You Realising

Eating too much sugar and not brushing your teeth are two obvious things that can damage your teeth, but there are less obvious things that can also cause damage. Here are just a few ways in which you could be damaging your teeth without realising.

Brushing too hard

Brushing too hard can strip away the enamel from the teeth. This can make teeth sensitive and even make them appear yellow by exposing the yellow dentin beneath the enamel. Whilst you should apply firm pressure when brushing teeth, you should only brush in light circles – many of us use a vigorous back and forth motion which can actually be bad for the enamel.

Never replacing your toothbrush

The bristles on a toothbrush wear down after four months of use. After this, they stop being effective at cleaning the teeth. For this reason, you should replace your toothbrush every four months (or your toothbrush head if you’re using an electric toothbrush).

Letting wisdom teeth go unchecked

Wisdom teeth come through later than other adult teeth – often in teenage years or even later. For a lot of people they can cause problems such as disrupting other teeth or causing infections. It’s worth seeing a dentist when you’ve noticed them coming through – if there is a problem, a dentist may be able to recommend you to a wisdom tooth doctor early to get them removed. Leaving them could cause further problems that could have a knock-on effect on other teeth.

Eating ice cubes

Chewing on ice cubes is also bad for your teeth. Ice cubes are deceivingly hard and can cause teeth to crack and chip. They can also disrupt fillings and crowns. All in all, it’s best not to put them in your mouth at all.

Not drinking enough water

Water can help to clean the teeth and it also helps with the production of saliva (which also helps to keep teeth clean). Not drinking enough water could result in a dry mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to thrive, leading to decay. Other things that cause a dry mouth such as sleeping with the air con on, smoking, vaping and drinking alcohol can also contribute to tooth decay in the same way.

Cracking open bottles with your teeth

You should try to avoid using your teeth as a tool, whether it’s ripping open plastic packaging or tearing off a tag. These could cause damage to your enamel if you’re not careful. Opening bottles with one’s teeth is the most likely to cause damage – it could be worth buying a bottle opener for your keyring if you find yourself caught short of a bottle opener regularly.

Not sipping soft drinks through a straw

Soft drinks cause more damage to teeth than any other food or drink. However, sipping through a straw can reduce the damage – this is because when you use a straw, the liquid doesn’t come into contact with the teeth as much and you’re less prone to swilling the drink around your mouth. Reducing the amount of soft drinks you consume will obviously make a bigger difference, but for those times you do treat yourself, it’s best to use a straw.

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