Most everyone is aware of the importance of brushing and flossing regularly, but there are other daily habits that you may not realize are putting your teeth and health at risk.
Bad Habit 1 - Eating sticky, sugary treats between meals. Sugar in any form promotes tooth decay, but candy like gummies and caramels are especially bad because they stick to your teeth and take time to wash away.
Better Habit – If you have to eat these treats, try eating them with a meal because your mouth produces more saliva when you eat, helping to rinse away the sticky, sugary residue.
Bad Habit 2 – Drinking soda and sports drinks. Learn to read labels and consider the amount of sugar you are consuming in sodas and sports drinks. Bottled juice is also high in sugar. These drinks leave a coat of acid on the enamel of your teeth and with continued use can erode the enamel.
Better Habit – If you like the fizzy taste, try ZEVIA, a zero-calorie soft drink sweetened with sugar free stevia. Otherwise opt for healthy sugar free drinks or flavored water.
Bad Habit 3 – Chewing on ice, pens and pencils. Chomping on these items can be unconscious when you’re concentrating on something else, but you risk cracking or chipping a tooth and irritating soft tissue surrounding the tooth.
Better Habit – Use a mouth guard or just be aware of what you are doing and don’t handle pens or pencils when you’re concentrating.
Bad Habit 4 – Smoking, chewing tobacco, or using electronic cigarettes. All of these substances leave tar and nicotine on your teeth, cause gum disease, lead to decayed and lost teeth and cause cancer.
Better Habit – Quit smoking however you can to improve your oral and overall health. You’ll feel ten times better. Chew sugarless gum while you’re getting healthy.
Bad Habit 5 – Brushing too hard. Using a toothbrush with too hard or firm bristles can irritate gums and cause them to bleed. That opens up pathways for infection, and before you know it, you’ve lost that tooth.
Better Habit – Gently massage your teeth and gums with a soft bristled toothbrush that carries the American Dental Association seal of acceptance. And do it faithfully twice a day for 2 minutes.