5 Habits that Harm Teeth

bad habits

Even if you brush and floss everyday, there are some common daily habits that put your teeth at increased risk for disease or damage. At our Austin dental office, we’re here to educate our patients on all the ways they can help keep their smiles in the best shape, so we’ve included a guide to the top five tooth-damaging habits we often see.

  • Ice, Ice, Baby! A great way to cause tiny cracks, or sometimes even large ones, is to crunch on hard, cold ice cubes. Although it’s made of water and there are no threats of sugar damage, their solid texture is hard on teeth. Fractures in teeth make room for bacteria to settle in and cause decay.
  • Lay Off The Snacks! Don’t worry, you don’t need to give up snacking completely. However, you should limit the number of times you snack throughout the day. The longer teeth are exposed to food and food particles, the more opportunity bacteria have to feed on sugars or starches. When bacteria feed, they produce acid. This acid may lead to decay and the need for dental restorations.
  • That’s Juicy! While packed with healthy nutrients, fruit juices are also packed with harmful sugar. As we know, sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth, erodes enamel, and increases risk of cavities. Try diluting juice with water and making sure your choice of juice has no added sugar.
  • Chew on This! Well, actually, don’t chew on it. What exactly do we mean by it? Pens, pencils, fingernails, or basically anything not designed to go in the mouth. Foreign objects that are hard in texture can cause teeth to chip, break, or crack. If you find yourself chewing on things as a habit, try a gum with Xylitol instead.
  • Up in Smoke! Tobacco, whether cigars, cigarettes, or smokeless, not only greatly increases the risk of oral cancer, it also leads to yellowed teeth. Often times staining caused by tobacco can’t be removed through traditional teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry treatments are needed. What’s more, tobacco users have a greater chance for tooth loss.

Besides kicking the habits above, or at least limiting them, you’re helping keep your smile bright and healthy. But that alone isn’t enough. Visit your dentist in Austin at least twice a year in order to catch any problems early. Early detection is key to successful treatment of many oral health diseases and concerns.

If it’s time to get your smile in its best shape yet, give our Austin dental office a call. We’re always accepting new patients and would love to see you.

Serving patients from Austin, Westlake, and Cedar Park.

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