Are some of your bad habits damaging your teeth? Our team of world-class dentists in New York City have noticed that certain behaviors can harm your smile, which then requires dental work that may have been avoided otherwise. To maintain strong, beautiful teeth, we recommend that our patients drop the following nasty habits:
Chewing on Inedible Objects
Most toddlers have an oral fixation, but it’s something you should grow out of. If you continue chewing on non-food items as an adult, you are actively endangering your teeth. Activities like chewing on pens or biting your nails are liable to crack or chip your teeth. They can also wear away the enamel that protects your teeth from cavities.
Grinding Your Teeth
Roughly 10% of American adults grind their teeth during the night. This condition is known as bruxism, and it can cause significant harm to your teeth by wearing down the enamel and leading to cracks. Because this jaw clenching occurs while you are asleep, you can’t simply resolve to stop doing it. However, if you know you have this problem, you can wear an oral appliance at night to better protect your teeth. Your dentist should look for signs of bruxism during a regular examination, but please mention the symptoms to your dentist if you notice that you wake up with a sore jaw some or most mornings.
One reason you should avoid frequent snacking is that the foods that most people consume as snacks tend to be more acidic and sugar-laden than mealtime foods, which can contribute to cavities and enamel erosion. However, the other less-known factor is that your mouth produces less saliva when you graze on food than it does when you eat a full meal. Unfortunately, this makes it more difficult to wash away the food particles and bacteria in your mouth, allowing plaque to form.
Drinking Alcohol and/or Smoking Cigarettes
Throughout your life, you’ve undoubtedly heard many anti-drug public service announcements, but you may not realize how detrimental these activities can be to your oral health. In case you need yet another reason to abstain, both drinking and smoking have known links to staining (yellowing) your teeth.
Opening Packages with Your Teeth
When you need to cut open plastic packaging or rip a tag off a shirt, you may feel tempted to use your teeth to get the job done. However, if you’d like to boost the longevity of your teeth, take a few extra seconds to track down a knife or scissors. Your teeth are not built to forcefully tear things in that manner.
Address Existing Dental Damage
While these tips are a good way to avoid future damage, you may need more serious dental work to correct existing damage to your teeth. New York Smile Institute offers both restorative and cosmetic dental procedures to improve the functionality and appearance of your teeth. With many talented dentists on staff, you can count on our team for great work. Please call (212) 319-6363 today.