1. Chewing on hard foods
We’re looking at you Beef jerky and hard or stale bread.
2. Chewing on hard items
This includes fingernails, pencils, pen caps, and ice.
3. Grinding your teeth
If you grind your teeth, discuss it with your dentist. An appliance can safeguard your smile.
4. Eating too much sticky food
Gummy candy, dried fruit, and even protein bars can break teeth.
5. Drinking anything besides water frequently
If your teeth are bathed in soda (sugared or diet), juice, coffee, or sports drinks consistently, you are asking for dental dilemmas.
6. Playing sports without a mouthguard
Sports pose a major risk of tooth damage. Most children are required to wear a protective mouthguard on the playing field. But fewer adults wear mouthguards for recreational activities like mountain biking and skiing. Stock mouthguards are one-size-fits-all but rarely fit well. Custom-fitted mouthguards from your dentist are more comfortable than the cheap boil-and-bite type.
7. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
A hard-bristled toothbrush can weaken teeth and cause gums to pull away. Clean away food bits and plaque with a soft (or extra-soft) toothbrush.
8. Ignoring dry mouth
Saliva is important. Saliva is necessary to neutralize acids and rinse bits of food off of teeth. It also helps clean the teeth of leftover food bits, helping to prevent plaque buildup. Constant dry mouth, or xerostomia, can lead to tooth decay. Talk to your dentist if you have dry mouth repeatedly.
9. Using teeth as tools
Take a minute to find a pair of scissors before you tear open a package of lunch meat or pry the lid of a medicine bottle. Use a nutcracker if you are eating unshelled nuts. A quality dental crown can cost over eight hundred dollars.
10. Ignoring bad breath
Bad breath is often related to bacteria build-up in the mouth. It might be a symptom of accelerating decay. Discuss it with your dentist. (Don’t be embarrassed. We treat bad breath all the time.)
11. Ignoring jaw pain
If you notice inexplicable jaw pain or notice a clicking sound, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly! These symptoms can be signs of a serious condition called temporomandibular disorder or TMD.
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