Maybe you have the best oral hygiene regimen – you brush twice a day, floss regularly, see your dentist (at least) twice a year. But you might be engaging in some bad dental habits without even realizing it, undoing all that hard work you put into have healthy teeth. Here are three dental habits you should avoid.
- Chewing Ice
If you like to munch on a few ice cubes after finishing a cold drink, you might think that it’s no big deal. The truth is, that satisfying crunch could be damaging your teeth. The cold temperature and brittleness of ice cubes can cause microscopic cracks in your tooth enamel, which can lead to greater dental problems over time. Ice could even cause your teeth to fracture. Popcorn kernels are just as bad, so if you do want something to crunch on, try something that’s a little healthier, like baby carrots.
- Grinding Teeth
This dental problem is often caused by an abnormal bite or by missing or crooked teeth (and even as a side effect of stress!). Don’t think that it’s a problem you should just put up with though – grinding teeth could wear them down. Your dentist may suggest wearing a mouth guard if you grind your teeth at night. If the grinding is due to another issue, such as stress or anxiety, it’s important to pinpoint exactly what the cause is so that you can address it, with methods such as an exercise program or counseling.
- Drinking Juice or Sports Drinks
Sure, drinking water all the time can get boring, and you might think that fruit juice or sports drinks are at least healthier than sodas. This is partly true, as juice does contain less sugar (by just a bit) than soda and contains vitamins and nutrients, and sports drinks are made to replenish your body after a workout. But both drinks are still fairly high in sugar, creating an acid attack on your teeth enamel. So when you’re at the gym, stay hydrated with good, reliable water, and if you’re really hankering for an apple juice, look for one made with real fruit juice and no added sugar.