Five Daily Habits That Are Ruining Your Pearly Whites

6 January 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Avoid irreversible yellowing and structural damage to your teeth. The five daily habits listed below are all too common, but with the right knowledge and alternative options, you'll be able to prevent the issues listed below and keep your teeth healthy and strong for years to come.  


Constant grinding can result in jagged, worn down teeth, and can even lead to total loss of teeth.

For those who suffer from nighttime grinding, a mouth guard may be all that you need to protect your teeth and keep them strong. Mouth guards act as a cushion, lessening the impact of grinding by keeping your teeth from coming into contact with each other.

If you find yourself grinding during the day, become aware of the cause. For many, the cause is stress. Speak with your dentist—they can help you determine whether this is something you need outside assistance for.

Using Your Teeth as a Tool

With the abundance of tools at our disposal, it's a wonder so many people resort to using their teeth to open packaging and cut threads. Using your teeth in such a way can lead to cracks, breaks, and can even harm the gums and roots of your teeth.

Use the tools appropriate for the job and you'll never have to worry about causing damage to your teeth.

Brushing Too Soon After Eating or Drinking

While this may come as a shock to you, brushing too soon after eating or drinking, especially sugary and acidic foods, can lead to enamel erosion and staining. When brushing directly after consumption, your toothbrush is doing nothing more than grinding the cavity culprits into your teeth.

Swishing with water is a much more effective teeth cleaning tool immediately following a meal. If you feel you must brush following meals, wait 30 minutes.

Brushing Too Hard

Following the point above, brushing can prevent cavities and keep your teeth sparkling, but brushing too hard can cause irreparable damage. It can lead to tooth decay and other not-so-pleasant dental issues.

To avoid this problem, toothbrushes labeled "soft" are recommended. If they are approved by the American Dental Association then these brushes can still be trusted to remove food and other cavity creators while keeping your gums and enamel happy and fully intact.

Thumb Sucking

It can be difficult to admit, but thumb sucking is an all too common habit among humans, children and adults alike. While children are more susceptible to dental problems related to thumb sucking, adults can suffer as well.

Teeth can become misaligned depending on the placement and pressure applied while sucking. If this habit has become a threat to your dental health, consider taking extreme measures. Thumb guards can be used, which are placed in the roof of the mouth. These prevent the wearer from sticking their thumb far enough into their mouth to cause permanent issues.

Talk to your dentist, one like NorthShore Family Dentistry, about other things you can do to protect your teeth.