We all know – hopefully we all know! – that opening a bottle of anything with your teeth is not a good idea!
Nevertheless, here are ten more things you or someone you love may be doing that can cause a little or a lot of damage to those pearly whites!
- Thumb sucking. Kids who constantly suck their thumbs can be causing the teeth and jaws to misalign, leading to major problems later in life. As for adults who suck their thumbs – well that’s a different story altogether!
- Chewing or sucking on lemons. Some people – we’re not sure why! – love the tanginess of lemons so much they suck on them. One thing is for sure: your tooth enamel doesn’t like the highly acidic lemon juice and will corrode with time.
- Brushing too hard. It seems to make sense! Scrub your teeth harder and they will get cleaner. But your teeth aren’t a dirty frying pan, and brushing too hard can wear down both your teeth and gums. Use a soft brush with a gentle but thorough technique.
- Jaw clenching and tooth grinding. These are signs of stress and are often done unconsciously. But these habits can not only wear down teeth and dental work such as crowns, they can cause pain and chronic problems with the sensitive jaw joint, often called the “TMJ.”
- Crunching ice. Think about the special blades your blender needs to crush ice. Get the picture? The hardness of ice plus the extreme cold is a double recipe for disaster to teeth and fillings.
- Utilizing the teeth as a human tool box. It may be tempting to tear off a clothing tag, rip open a bag of chips, hold a nail, or many other handy things around the house with your chompers. Don’t! There are proper tools for all of those jobs, and they are not found in your mouth.
- Put the pencil down. It’s easy to use your teeth as a pencil holder, eyeglass rest, or pen parker. But doing so habitually can cause your teeth to shift until there is an actual space in there for these objects – a space you probably don’t want!
- Biting nails. While a tense movie or close sporting event is often called a “nail-biter,” most people who bite their nails do it constantly. This can lead to small spaces between the teeth and shave off bits of enamel. And if you bite your toenails – congratulations on your flexibility, but it’s just as bad. And kinda gross.
- Drinking soda – even “diet.” We won’t go into the HUGE list of reasons not to drink soda right now, but even diet soda bathes your teeth in unhealthy acid and causes corrosion. When you are thirsty there is a reason your body craves water. Listen to it.
- Be picky about toothpicking. While properly using a toothpick can be healthy for your teeth and gums, doing it with too much force or aggression can hurt your gum tissue. So just like with brushing, take it easy!