20 Things That Will Ruin Oral Health

Oral health is one of those things that it can be easy to forget about and easy to really derail. You may know that eating sweets is bad for your teeth or drinking coffee can ruin your smile. But avoiding these things is easier said than done. But these habits are just the beginning, there are plenty of other simple things that you could be doing that are ruining your oral health. So here are some things that you should avoid starting or should try and stop in order to maintain good oral health.

1. Chewing Ice

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There are plenty of people who chew ice either because they like the crunch or they like how refreshing it is. There are some who believe that the desire to chew ice is a sign of anemia. Whatever the reason it is a bad habit for oral health. Chewing ice can cause small fractures in the teeth that can eventually cause the teeth to break apart.

2. Teeth Grinding

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Teeth grinding often occurs at night and it is the sliding back and forth of your teeth against each other. This may seem harmless enough but it can actually cause your teeth to split. Teeth have been known to split all the way down to the root as a result of teeth grinding. To solve this problem and prevent damage you should invest in a nighttime mouth guard.

3. Smoking

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There are dozens of reasons why smoking is bad for your health. But in terms of oral health it can cause oral cancer, yellowing teeth, a receding gum line and bad breath. If these issues were not bad enough, smoking is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. So if you want to keep your pretty smile and keep your teeth, you should avoid smoking.

4. Cheek Biting

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For most people biting their cheek is something that happens only occasionally or on accident. But if you bit your cheek often due to a habit or misaligned teeth, then it could lead to serious problems. Not only is it painful when bit a chunk out of your cheek but it can lead to an infection. There are also some professionals who suggest that cheek biting may be a cause of oral cancer.

5. Using Teeth to Open Things

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You should not use your teeth for anything but chewing food. If you are using your teeth to open packages or bottles, then you are damaging them. By using them as tools you are wearing away and damaging the enamel. Once the enamel of your teeth is gone, it does not come back. So protect your pearly whites and only use them on food.

6. Dieting

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While dieting may be good for your health and even your oral health, it has to be done right. If you are on a diet that drastically restricts calories or dictates what you eat (cabbage soup diet anyone?), then it is bad for your oral health. A well balanced diet is necessary to provide your teeth and gums with the nutrients they need in order to be strong and healthy.

7. Using the Wrong Brush

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When it comes to brushing you may think that it is always doing a good thing for your teeth. The reality is that you could be damaging your teeth every time you brush if you are using the wrong toothbrush. If you are using anything other than a soft bristled brush you are risking damage to your gums, teeth enamel and root surfaces. Unless instructed by a dentist to do otherwise, you should always use a soft brush.

8. Tongue and Lip Piercings

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While they may be trendy and cool, piercing in the tongue and lip can be bad for oral health. The first issue is that these piercings can be easy to forget about and bite. If you bite hard on a metal piercing, you can break a tooth. Another issue is that metal piercing constantly rubbing against the gums can cause damage that leads to tooth loss. A poorly done piercing can also lead to infection.

9. Using Cough Drops

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Cough drops may be great for the throat and since they are sold in the medicine aisle, they seem like they are good for you. Cough drops can help you feel better but they can also damage your teeth because they contain lots of sugar. So the same soothing cough drops that coat your throat, can also coat your teeth with sugar. If you have a cough drop make sure to brush well afterward.

10. Sucking on Lemons

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If you enjoy the sour taste of lemons and find yourself sucking them, you could be doing damage to your teeth. Lemons are very acidic and this acid breaks down the enamel of your teeth. By sucking lemons, you are squirting the acidic juice of the lemon right on your teeth. So you will end up with teeth that have worn and rough enamel.

1. Holding Things With Your Teeth

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Often you may find yourself in need of another hand or you put your pen or sunglasses in-between your teeth when you are thinking. This is an absentminded habit but it can be bad for your teeth. Often you have no idea how much pressure you are putting on your teeth because your mind is occupied elsewhere. This can cause your teeth to shift, crack or damage any dental work that you have.

12. Nail Biting

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Nail biting is one of the most common nervous habits and it can do a number on fingernails. What most nail biters don’t know is that it can also affect your oral health. It can be an issue of oral hygiene due to the dirt and things that are caught under your nails. Too much nail biting can cause your teeth to move out of place or break. It can even cause your tooth enamel to splinter.

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13. Being Too Aggressive With Toothpicks

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This is one that seems obvious but it can be a problem when you are nothing thinking about what you are doing. Using toothpicks to remove stuck food is good because that food can cause cavities or damage the teeth. But if you are too forceful and aggressive with toothpicks it can damage your gums. If your guns feel sore or start to bleed after you use toothpicks then you are being far too aggressive.

14. Drinking Sports Drinks

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So it’s a no brainer that soda is bad for your teeth but some people do not realize that sports drinks can be just as bad. Many sports drinks are filled with just as much sugar as soda, and that sugar just sticks to the teeth and starts to break them down. It is very important to stay hydrated and energized at the gym so just opt for water.

15. Eating Potato Chips

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Believe it or not but the bacteria in plaque has the ability to break down starches into acid. This means that those potato chips are easily converted to acid and cause your teeth to break down. This can continue happening for as much as 20 minutes after you eat, even longer if there are pieces of chip stuck in your teeth. So limit the potato chips you eat and make sure to floss afterward.

16. Snacking

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Snacking is good for curbing cravings and getting through the day. But if you are just snacking or snacking often you can be causing problems for your oral health. When you eat a full meal your mouth generates more saliva which helps to wash the food off your teeth. When you snack you don’t generate as much saliva and this means that food can stay on your teeth longer.

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17. Drinking Red Wine

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This may be the biggest buzzkill on the list but red wine can really affect the way your teeth look. Not only does the acid in the wine wear away the enamel of your teeth but it can stain your teeth. When the enamel wears away it becomes rough which makes the color of the wine stick to the teeth even more. Swishing with water or brushing after drinking wine can reduce staining.

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18. Drinking White Wine

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Once again we’re going to kill the buzz. If you think the solution to the red wine problem is just to drink white wine, it’s not the best solution. White wine has the same acids as red wine so it can still wear down your enamel. This means that while the white wine won’t stain your teeth it will make it easier for other things to stain your teeth, like that morning cup of coffee.

19. Eating Gummy Candy

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Sugar is bad and therefore candy is bad. But if there was a hierarchy of bad candy then gummy candy would be at the top of it. If you find that you cannot be without your gummy candy fix, then the best solution is to eat your vice during a meal instead of as a snack. The additional saliva will help get rid of the gummy residue.

20. Drinking Sugar Free Beverages

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If you think you can avoid the issues of soda, juices and sports drink by going for the sugar free option, well you might be in trouble. Studies have shown that sugar-free sweeteners and drinks can actually cause you to crave sweets. Another study showed that the citric acid in sugar free drinks caused tooth erosion.

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