We all (even Hendricks County residents) have bad habits that we’re not even aware that we’re doing. But did you know that some of these bad habits can damage your teeth? Some bad dental habits can lead to a chipped, cracked, broken or lost tooth. While other bad habits can harm your teeth over time, causing tooth enamel erosion, gum disease and jawbone deterioration.
However, by becoming aware of these seven bad dental habits, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate these behaviors, so you can preserve your healthy smile.

  1. Chewing on Ice. While you may think crunching on hard ice cubes is harmless, you can actually chip or crack a tooth this way. Plus, cold ice may cause tooth pain. Try chewing sugarless gum instead.
  2. Opening or removing things with your teeth. Your teeth were not designed to open plastic packaging or bottle caps. Nor should you remove tags from clothing with them. By using your teeth as a tool, you can crack or chip them. Instead use the correct tool for the job, such as scissors, bottle openers or pliers, in your Hendricks County home or workplace.
  3. Eating sticky, sugary candy. Sugary candy promotes tooth decay since acid-producing bacteria feed on it. But jelly and gummy candies are the worst kinds of candy to eat. Since these types of candies are harder to wash away, they can stick to your teeth’s enamel longer, feeding the bacteria in your mouth. Eat fresh fruit in place of candy.
  4. Drinking soda. Not only does soda contain sugar (up to 11 teaspoons per serving), it also contains phosphoric and citric acids. These acids can cause tooth enamel erosion and decay around the gum line. Drink more water.
  5. Drinking coffee. Coffee’s dark color can yellow your teeth over time. Plus the acids in coffee can weaken your teeth’s enamel. Again, drink more water.
  6. Having an oral piercing. While you may think a tongue or lip piercing looks cool, it can damage your teeth, gums and fillings. Plus, your mouth contains bacteria that can cause infections and sores in the pierced area. If you live in Hendricks County, talk to Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry before you get an oral piercing. Remove your oral jewelry when eating and sleeping. Keep your piercing clean with regular brushing and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.
  7. Smoking or using chewing tobacco. Tobacco product use can lead to cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue. In time, nicotine can stain your teeth yellow. Smoking also irritates your gums, causing them to recede and making them vulnerable to tooth decay. Quit smoking or chewing tobacco.

Keep your smile bright and healthy by eliminating these bad dental habits starting today! However, if you already suffer from damage to your teeth and gums due to bad habits, contact Dr. Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County. Through cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Erickson can help you get your smile back.