Do you love your teeth? Do you want to keep them? Even if the answer is yes, you’re probably doing some things day-to-day that hurt your chances of keeping all your teeth intact throughout your life. And since teeth don’t grow back once they’re damaged or gone, the question of whether or not you want to keep them should be taken pretty seriously. If you care about the health and longevity of your teeth, here are four bad habits that you should eliminate from your life. Your teeth will thank you!
Treating Teeth Like Tools
Your teeth are the tools that you always have with you! If you need to open some packaging, pull the cap off of a pen, or hold some nails, your teeth are there to help. Right? Actually, using your teeth as tools can do some serious damage. It might seem harmless to pull open a bag of chips or thoughtfully gnaw on a pencil, but your enamel can become worn if your teeth get too much unintended use, and that wear can even lead to cracks or chips over time.
Drinking Lemon Water
A slice of lemon might seem like a refreshing way to brighten up a glass of water or a mug of hot tea, but that habit can hurt teeth, too. Lemons are extremely acidic: They have a pH of 2.0, which is even more acidic than soda and vinegar. That acid can weaken your enamel, opening up your teeth to cavities. Some occasional citrus isn’t a problem, but if you develop a lemon habit, your teeth could suffer in the long run.
Trying DIY Whitening Recipes
No matter how convincing that Pinterest link is, you can’t whiten your teeth at home as effectively as your dentist can — or as safely. There are always new DIY teeth whitening recipes floating around, but most of them either do nothing, or do more harm than good. Homemade whitening gels and pastes often utilize abrasive ingredients to scrub surface stains off of teeth. But while you’re scrubbing off those stains, you may also be scrubbing off your enamel, which protects your teeth. Instead, visit your dentist for professional whitening. It’s faster, safer, and will leave you with a much whiter smile!
Brushing your teeth is good, but just like in many other categories, too much of a good thing can still be bad. When you brush, your goal is to remove plaque from your teeth. But did you know that plaque is about the same consistency as yogurt? It doesn’t take much force to remove plaque, just gentle circles and a little time. But if you brush too aggressively, you can actually do damage to your enamel and your gums, weakening your teeth to bacteria.