Your teeth were meant to help you chew food for easy digestion; they are not meant for use on non-edible objects as many people have the bad habit of doing. When you use your teeth as a “tool” you put them at risk for unsightly chips that can be embarrassing and require dental work.
Here are some of the worst dental habits that will leave you with teeth that could be unpleasant looking or even cause you some pain:
- Chewing ice – Ice was meant to be used to cool your drink down, not to chew on. Not only can chewing on ice wear down your enamel, it can downright fracture your teeth if they are already worn down.
- Using your teeth as tools – Do you use your teeth to open a stubborn package? This somewhat innocent act could cause your tooth to chip or break altogether, requiring you to need a root canal and bridge or crown to replace the now missing part of your tooth.
- Avoiding the use of a mouth guard – If you play any type of sport that could put your teeth at risk, you need to wear a mouth guard to prevent chips. This is true for any type of sport aside from the obvious, like football and wrestling. A mouth guard should also be worn during basketball, hockey, lacrosse, and racquetball.
- Oral piercings – Your mouth was not meant to be pierced. If you pierce your tongue or lip, the jewelry will cause excessive wear and tear on your enamel and even put your teeth at risk for chips or breakage depending on the type of jewelry you wear and its exact location.
- Grinding your teeth – If you have bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding, you could cause wear and tear on your teeth, making them weak over time. Eventually, your teeth could start to break because they can only withstand a certain amount of pressure. In order to avoid this, you should find out the reason why you grind your teeth as well as the appropriate measures to stop it, such as wearing a mouth guard or having orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth.
If you are guilty of any of the above habits, it is time to pay close attention to your dental health. You only get one chance at your permanent teeth, which means if you damage them, you are subjected to artificial teeth or various cosmetic dental procedures to enhance the teeth that are left. Use the appropriate tools and avoid putting things in your mouth that do not belong in order to ensure optimal oral health for many years to come.