You are what you eat, or so the saying goes. The thing about eating, though, is that it works best when your teeth, tongue, gums, and mouth in general are in good health. You know that you’re supposed to brush and floss regularly and frequently, but that’s not always enough. You could be engaging in some habits that are harming your dental health.
Did you chew on pencils or pens as a kid? Maybe you bite your nails or use your teeth as tools. It’s understandable, especially if you deal with anxiety or don’t have a better tool close to hand. It’s definitely not good for your teeth, though. Even chewing ice is bad for teeth, especially if you have braces or fillings. Any of these things can chip your teeth and damage them. Finding ways to reduce stress and committing to using the right tools for any given job instead of your teeth can help protect them.
Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth isn’t always something you have conscious control over. A lot of the time it happens while you’re asleep. That can make it tough to notice too, unless you share your room with someone who notices or your dentist is able to spot signs of tooth grinding. It’s important to prevent tooth grinding as much as you can. Grinding your teeth can increase the chances of chips and cracks. It can also increase the level of tension in your jaw and could even increase the frequency at which you experience headaches. Try using a nighttime mouthguard to help protect your teeth. Aside from that, finding ways to relax more may be your best bet.
Snacking can be healthy, but only if you do it right. If you aren’t paying attention to what you eat and when, you could be doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to your teeth. It’s one thing to have a sugary snack once during the day. It’s entirely different if you’re chowing down on cookies or other sugary snacks and drinks all day long. That sugar is prime food for the bacteria that live in your mouth, and puts you at a higher risk of developing cavities. Protect your teeth by having regular filling meals. Be sure to wash down sugar with plenty of water afterward if you do decide to indulge.
It’s not just about what you do that keeps your teeth healthy. Sometimes it’s about what you don’t do. Avoid biting objects that aren’t food, grinding your teeth, and constantly snacking. Keeping up good habits will help you keep your teeth healthier and avoid damaging them unnecessarily.
Read this next: Things That Become Even More Important When You Have Braces
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