The Worst Things You Can Do for Your Teeth (And What to Do Instead)

Maybe you take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, maybe even getting the recommended two dental exams every year. But you need to do a bit more than that. Taking care of your teeth involves avoiding certain bad habits.

You can chip or crack your teeth, or even get cavities (also called dental caries) by certain bad habits. But you can also help your teeth by replacing those habits with healthier ones. Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly of Sokoly Dental explains more about what not to do and how to do better.

Damaging habits

Keeping your smile healthy and intact requires a little bit of care. A lot of these things are small actions, but they can make a big impact. 

It doesn’t take much to chip or crack a tooth, or to damage your enamel. Here are some of the most common bad habits to avoid.

Grinding your teeth

Grinding your teeth is something you might not be aware that you’re doing. You may do it when you’re asleep and you may grind your teeth all night. This does a lot of damage to your teeth, including wearing away the enamel and even breaking your teeth. You may also have symptoms during the day, such as headaches and pain in your jaw. 

You can usually resolve this problem by wearing a nightguard. Dr. Sokoly can make you a professional-grade mouthguard that’s custom-made to fit your mouth.

Chewing on ice

It can be hard to resist crunching on ice. Some people love to crunch on ice all day long. But this common habit is one that can damage your teeth or even a crown, which can make this an expensive habit. 

As an alternative, you may want to consume drinks through a straw. Resist the urge to chew your ice after finishing a drink.

Drinking soda or sparkling water

Soda is terrible for your health and your teeth, too. The acid wears away the enamel on your teeth, leaving them more vulnerable to tooth decay. Even flavored sparkling water isn’t a better alternative; although it’s calorie-free, some varieties can still damage your teeth if they contain artificial sweeteners.

You can avoid this problem by rinsing your mouth after drinking soda or better yet, brushing your teeth. You can also drink more plain water (or even add fruit to your water).

Using your teeth as objects

If you frequently bite packages to open them instead of grabbing the scissors, you might cause damage to your teeth like small cracks or chips in your teeth.

The better choice is to take a couple of extra seconds and open packages the correct way.

Smoking or using tobacco

Smoking is an unhealthy habit; we all already know that. But it’s especially bad for your teeth — even if you’re only an occasional smoker. Other habits, such as chewing tobacco, are equally bad for your teeth.

They may stain your teeth quickly. You can often reverse those effects with teeth whitening, but the results aren’t permanent. Better yet is to quit the habit. If you need help — and many people do — your doctor can assist you with developing a smoking cessation plan.

Contact Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly at Sokoly Dental today at his Washington, DC, office or make an appointment online. He would love to see you!

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