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Top 7 Dental Don’ts – Tips for Dental Health

If you’ve been reading our blog posts hopefully you know about the effect that sugars and carbs can have on your teeth. There are some other not-so-obvious habits that may also be damaging your teeth. Dentists cringe when people list these habits, and a few may surprise you. Most of these “don’t” dental habits do not do immediate damage to your teeth. Instead, the effects of these habits add up over time resulting in catastrophic tooth injury after years of damage.

1) Chewing Ice

Generally when things get cold they become more brittle.  Chewing cold ice lowers the temperature of your teeth which combined with the hardness of ice can cause major damage to teeth.  Teeth are not designed to crush. Our front teeth cut or slice through a large piece of food (think chicken drumstick) and move the smaller piece to our back teeth. Here the larger back teeth chew the food to a pureed consistency to pass on down the digestive system. Remember, many blenders have special blades to use if the task is crushing ice. our bodies are not equipped with that accessory.

2) Thumb Sucking 

Children usually stop sucking between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Children who still suck their fingers or thumbs after their permanent teeth start coming in may be causing permanent changes to their tooth and jaw structure. Difficulty chewing or breathing and altered speech are problems that may arise from prolonged thumb sucking.

3) Soda 

Soda is acidic. is very acidic and is typically measured at a pH of 3.0. For a comparison, acid rain is typically measured at a pH of 4.0.The acidity weakens the enamel on our teeth. The sugar in soda then has an easier time attacking the weakened tooth and causing a cavity.

4) Pen Chewing 

Several people admit to holding objects like such as pens, pencils or eyeglasses between their teeth when in deep thought. As you’re crunching numbers in the latest TPS report you may not realize how much pressure is being placed on your teeth. Biting on these hard objects can cause your teeth to shift or crack. You may even wear a notch in your teeth over time.

5) Vigorous Brushing

Brushing and flossing twice each day is part of good oral hygiene. Too much of a good thing exists, even in oral hygiene. If you brush too vigorously you may cause more harm than good. It can wear down enamel, irritate your gums causing recession, and make your teeth sensitive to cold food and drinks. To avoid these problems you should be using a soft bristled toothbrush with a gentle (yet thorough) technique.

6) Lemon Sucking 

Lemons are more acidic than most soda. Wikipedea lists the pH of lemons at 2.4 which is just above gastric acid (2.0) and battery acid (1.0). Just as with soda, lemons weaken the enamel coating on our teeth, eventually causing a complete loss this tooth structure.

7) Multipurpose Tool

Our mouth is not a Swiss Army Knife. Teeth are not meant to pop tabs on soda cans, open bags of chips, bite fingernails or any other off label use. Teeth are meant to start the digestive process through chewing food, assist in the phonetics of speech and make use look good with a bright white smile. Using your teeth as a handy set of pliers is a threat to your dental health. If you use your teeth in this manor you may want to consider buying a Leatherman Multi Tool.


There you have it, 7  bad habits to put to rest — for your teeth’s sake.

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