Watch Out! 5 Bad Habits Could Be Costing Your Teeth

Watch Out! 5 Bad Habits Could Be Costing Your Teeth

Posted by Hillsdale Dental Care on Sep 20 2017, 04:13 AM

We all like to think that we’re brushing our teeth correctly, following the best protocol for maintaining a healthy mouth. Too often, unfortunately, the techniques people think are beneficial for their teeth are actually damaging. So in order to help out our patients and people in general, we’ve put together a list of habits that could be undermining your mouth.

1. Rinsing After Brushing

This habit has unfortunately become like clockwork for most people. You’ve finished brushing your teeth and now you plan to wash off remaining food debris with some water. The problem is that when you rinse after brushing you’re also washing off fluoride leftover from brushing. Instead, let that fluoride stay on your teeth and keep at its job of eliminating bacteria.

2. Snacking

It’s actually better to eat a bunch of snacks all at once than staggering them throughout the day. That said, you should really stay away from doing either.

Eliminating snacks in between meals is great for dietary health. It’s also, however, beneficial for oral health. Dr. Peter Alldritt of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee says that, “Saliva neutralizes the acid. If you eat something for lunch and get an acid attack, within an hour it’s neutralized, but if you have a snack all of a sudden you’re getting another acid attack and that is where the decay happens because the amount of acidity outweighs the amount of time your mouth is neutral.” Don’t continuously snack throughout the day even if calorie-wise you can afford it because you can’t in terms of oral health.

3. Using Teeth as a Tool

This is a major problem especially for younger people. Using your teeth to tear tape, open bottle tops, bags of chips, etc. are all easy ways to ruin your precious smile. It’s not a matter of cavities as much as it’s a matter of chipping or breaking teeth on such mechanical activities. Grab scissors, pliers, anything besides your teeth to get the task ahead of you done.

4. Dark Colored Food and Drinks

Soda is one of the worst beverages for your teeth: it can stain, it’s loaded with sugar and it’s carbonated, all of which negatively affect your teeth.

Dark beverages can be harmful in a number of ways. Dark drinks like tea, coffee, red wine and soda have enormous potential to stain your teeth. Even dark foods like curry can do this as well. Besides staining, dark drinks also tend to be sugary and carbonated. And diet sodas might spare you from sugar, but the carbonation can damage your teeth as well.

5. Bottled Water Versus Tap

Americans love bottled water so much so it might even be considered an addiction. The problems with this addiction are manifold:

  • It’s extremely expensive
  • It creates a lot of pollution
  • Unlike tap water, bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride. Substituting bottled water for tap water cuts out an excellent source of fluoride outside of brushing.
  • By switching to tap water, you’ll save tons of money, save the earth and save your teeth, or at least give them a bit of help by taking in fluoride.
  • So those are some bad habits we’ve identified. There are more, but you’ll just have to wait until next week for the full list. Equally as important as avoiding these bad habits is maintaining good habits such as brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing and not eating or drinking right before bed. You’re mouth will thank you.

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