Toothache, tooth decay and tooth sensitivity is a problem that defies age. Children as young as 8 years are having tooth extraction at an alarming rate. The teenagers, young adults, and older adults are not left out.
You may brush and floss regularly but it may be the other habits and activities which are not toothbrush and toothpaste related that may be causing you pain and regular visit to the dentist.
Here are my 7 top lists of activity and habit to stop now for healthier teeth;
# 1 Drinking very hot or very cold liquid
Hot and cold liquid when they are taken in quick succession can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Drinking hot liquid like coffee is not only harmful to your teeth it can cause tooth stain and decay. Other liquids like lemon and hot water which most people take for it’s health benefits will gradually cause tooth erosion.
Cold liquid is not only harmful to your teeth, it has the ability to suppress the temperature of a blood donor for short time and this could lead to accepting blood from an infectious donor.
# 2 Using your teeth as an opener
Most time people use their teeth as an emergency holder and opener for everything from chip bags, to bottle opener to holding cell phones.
Using your teeth as an opener and holder can cause your tooth to fracture. The fracture will create small openings for tooth decay which may lead to tooth pain and eventual tooth extraction.
Use an opener for your drink, a scissors for chip bag and keep your phone on a table, floor or any available surface. Your teeth is not meant to hold your phone.
# 3 Hard tooth brush
There is a general belief that the harder your tooth brusher the better it works to rid your teeth of bacteria, dirt and plaque.
Extra hard bristles damage your gum and may cause gum bleed when you are brushing your teeth. This may lead to inflammation of the gum that may last for up to 4 days and is painful and uncomfortable.
Using a soft toothbrush may make you feel that you are playing with your teeth and not getting plaques and bacteria out.
Choose a toothbrush that is not too soft or too hard. It will clean your teeth and tongue properly. Just spend a little more time doing the brushing instead of using a hard toothbrush to get the job done in seconds.
# 4 Brushing your teeth too vigorously
Brushing your teeth too vigorously will eventually wear away your gum tissue and cause wear to your teeth.
It does not have to be too vigorous. Most people brush their teeth in less than 1 minute. In the process, roughness is used instead of consistent, gentle and focused brushing. Gentle, consistent and focused works too. It is not the roughness that will do the work.
Here is an exercise for you.
If you are in the habit of brushing your teeth vigorously, try to brush your teeth tomorrow morning gently for 2-3 minutes.
What difference did you notice?
# 5 Chewing ice
Chewing ice may feel good on a hot day but for some people chewing ice and licking ice powder from the fridge can become addictive.
This may cause your teeth to break, cause tooth sensitivity and wear away your teeth enamel.
Ice addiction is real and may cause people to constantly crave ice and go out of their way to get it. See your Doctor if you are addicted to ice as this may be a sign of iron deficiency.
# 6 Grinding your teeth
Teeth grinding and clenching for many is a habit formed in childhood. Some do it to help them bear pain, others to stop their tongue from saying what it would regret later. For others it is an angry reaction.
Whatever your reason for indulging in the habit, it can destroy your teeth by wearing your teeth out. The result is shorter and uneven teeth, loss of teeth and tooth sensitivity
# 7 Brushing your teeth after consuming something acidic
Fruits and foods that are acidic can cause harm to the teeth by softening your tooth structure. When you brush your teeth immediately after consuming them it may cause abrasions in your enamel.
Wait for 10 – 20 minutes after consuming acidic food or beverage before you brush your teeth.
Changing those habits that cause harm to your teeth is part of healthy habit that will improve health. Choose one habit that is bad for your teeth like chewing ice and focus on it for 1 month. When you are done with it and it is no longer a habit. Choose another habit and work on it.