bad habits ruining your teeth

5 Habits That Wreck Your Smile

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bad habits ruining your teethErie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA

Do You Have Bad Dental Habits?

Nobody has perfect teeth or practices perfect dental hygiene. We occasionally skip our before bedtime brushing or are in too much of a hurry to floss. Our teeth often become casualties of several other habits and preferences we have adopted over the course of our lives.

Do You Smoke? 

We have all heard of the dangers of tobacco use on our teeth and gums. Remember those horrible tv commercials which feature people whose mouths become misshapen from losing teeth due to periodontal disease caused by smoking? Periodontal disease is an important health risk. It starts slowly with symptoms easy to ignore: swollen or bleeding gums. It then progresses with gums pulling away from the teeth, causing tooth loss.

According to the CDC, 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. The risks increase with age. 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is not the only complication of smoking. Oral cancer will kill roughly one person a day, 24 hours a day. Of the over 45,000 diagnosed this year, only half of the group will be alive in 5 years. If you care about aesthetics, yellow teeth are also the result of nicotine usage.

Drinking Sweet Destruction

Another bad habit that we convince ourselves is not so bad is the consumption of sodas or juices or even sports drinks. These drinks literally bathe the teeth in sugar. Even throat lozenges and candies do their part in introducing the teeth to sugar which remains on the teeth unless one immediately brushes it away. Men drink more sodas than women, accounting for 300 extra calories a day. Even diet drinks are bad for the teeth because the chemicals which replace the sugar contribute the acids in one’s mouth. Acids cause erosion which damages the hardness of the enamel. Sodas can even damage the next layer of the teeth: the dentin, causing cavities. Even babies who are given a bottle to take with them to bed are bathing their teeth in sugar.

Ice Eating is Hard on Your Teeth

Ever crunch ice from your cup after your soft drink is consumed?  Crunching, chewing, even nibbling on ice is a bad habit that affects our teeth, causing damage. Ice is hard, and the pressure exerted to crunch up the cubes damages the enamel. Cracks and chips in the enamel expose the dentin underneath. These chips and cracks can undermine the structural integrity of your teeth and adversely affect dental restoration work. Whether or not you have anemia that is satisfied by ice chewing, the fact remains that ice-chewing is a habit worth giving up.

Teeth Aren’t Tools!

The 5th and more obvious group of behaviors that can lead to tooth damage is using your teeth as tools or a third hand. Holding items in your teeth or opening bottles or packages with your teeth can lead to cracks or chips in your teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Erie

Losing or changing these habits can reduce your chance of developing cavities, gum disease or lost teeth. It’ll take hard work and dedication, but you can do it. However, sometimes the damage is done, or you just need a fresh start. Start by calling your partners at Laser Dentistry of Erie (814) 825-2615 for a consultation today!

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