Have you ever wondered if some of the good habits that you commonly follow can be harmful for your teeth? Yes, that’s possible. Let us look at some of the good habits that are bad for your teeth.
6 Good Habits That Are Bad for Your Teeth
When people first get into a habit of improving their well-being, they are not aware of the consequences and negative effect that they incur on their pearly whites. For instance, it is definitely a healthy habit to brush the teeth at least twice a day. But most people tend to rush through the job, scrub the teeth aggressively, and after years of this vigorous cleaning, their teeth develop the uncomfortable sensitivity to heat and cold. This happens because furious brushing causes the enamel, which is the protective layer of teeth, to wear off and erode, exposing the more sensitive dentine underneath.
Here are some other good habits that are bad for your teeth.
#1. Brushing After Eating
Brushing the teeth is an excellent dental care practice. But not all times of the day are right for brushing. The tooth enamel softens temporarily and becomes easily susceptible to wear and tear, when something acidic, like tomatoes or oranges, is consumed. If the teeth are brushed, especially forcefully, just after eating these foods, it can lead to the erosion of dental enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. This problem worsens with age as the gums recede and more of the root surface is exposed. This is one of the commonest good habits that are bad for your teeth.
To avoid these issues, one should wait for around 30 minutes after eating acidic foods, and only then gently brush their teeth. Instead of brushing afterwards, they should rather brush their teeth before consuming something acidic. Eating certain dairy products like cheese can help in increasing and balancing pH scale in the mouth and releasing elements like calcium which prevents plaque formation. Further, mouth rinsing with water helps to clear any debris that may be stuck in between the teeth.
#2. Having Medications Which Cause Dry Mouth
The doctors prescribe different medications for controlling various health conditions. Many of these drugs like some type of an antidepressant or pain killers can cause side effects like decreased salivation, which can in turn harm the oral health. Saliva is responsible for washing away food debris and reducing the acid level in the mouth. But if salivation is reduced by taking certain medications, dry mouth occurs and the risk for a tooth decay increases. Although taking medications is a way to treat an ailment, it too is one of the good habits that are bad for your teeth.
However, these medications cannot be stopped unless the doctor offers a different medication without this side effect. But one can surely try to resolve the problem of dry mouth naturally by drinking some water throughout the day. The flow of saliva can also be increased by chewing sugarless gum, having mints, or using tablets, sprays, and gels made especially for conditions like dry mouth.
#3. Working Out Without Any Dental Protection
Physical activities benefit the body in multiple ways like strengthening the cardiovascular health, promoting weight control, improving brain function, and enhancing the mood. However, certain impact sports like hockey, judo, or taekwondo, can take a toll on the teeth if the pearly whites are not protected properly. Thus exercising or indulging in adventure or contact sports without protection is one of the popular good habits that are bad for your teeth.
It is essential to cushion the teeth with a custom mouthguard against any type of impact injury to the face while playing contact sports like hockey. A mouthguard helps to reduce the risk of breaking and chipping of the teeth. Intense exercise also affects the amount of saliva production and the overall quality of saliva produced. A study conducted in 2015, on triathletes, showed that the pH of the mouth increased and the flow of saliva slowed down when they were active. Both these changes tend to affect the teeth negatively.
Hence, it is important that people active in sports practice good oral hygiene and take care of their dental hygiene regularly with checkups.
#4. Drinking Lemon Juice With Water
Drinking fresh lemon juice mixed with water is not just a refreshing beverage but is also an effective natural remedy for boosting digestion, strengthening immunity, and cleansing the body from toxins. However, lemon water can weaken the tooth enamel. Even when diluted in water, the acidic lemon juice disturbs the pH of the mouth and causes dental erosion. Slowly sipping lemon water for a long time, 2 or 3 times all through the day can cause severe dental problems. While having lemon water is popular for health benefits, this is one of the good habits that are bad for your teeth.
Rather than drinking lemon water quickly to fix this problem, one should use a straw for drinking in order to lessen the detrimental effects. Lemon juice should not be extremely hot, as the hot temperature worsens tooth damage. Also one should never brush right away after having lemon water. They are advised to brush their teeth gently with toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Having a glass of plain water soon after drinking any acidic beverage is recommended.
#5. Sipping Wine Slowly
Moderate intake of alcohol can prove beneficial in reducing the risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart attack. Red wine especially contains compounds which can raise the level of HDL in the body and boost the heart health. But sipping a drink for hours together, like having single glass of wine for 2 hours, can have damaging effects on the teeth. Like lemon water, all types of wine also expose the teeth to acid every time a sip is taken. Thus, again this add to the commonest good habits that are bad for your teeth.
To reduce the effect of acid, one should have water when drinking wine. White wine has a higher pH and so it causes greater and faster teeth damage. Red wine can stain the pearly whites too. Even sparkling water is acidic and can harm the teeth when drunk constantly.
#6. Chewing Ice
Ice is sugar and calorie free and also keeps the body cool when the weather is hot outside. It is usually neutral on a pH scale and does not stick to the teeth. However, since ice is a hard substance, chewing it can lead to damage to the teeth due to cracks and fractures in the enamel. Also, consistent cold exposure results in dentine hypersensitivity. The enamel by far is the hardest tissue of the body. But consistent degeneration of the enamel can cause flattening of the shape of the teeth. At times, the wear can be extremely severe such that the way the bite fits gets altered causing pain in the muscles of the jaw. Thus, although beneficial, chewing ice is one of the good habits that are bad for your teeth.
So, ice is nice and soothing but only if you allow it to melt in the mouth and not chew it.
These are some of the commonest good habits that are bad for your teeth. One can keep a check on these habits and find healthier solutions to maintain oral hygiene and avoid damage to the teeth.
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