Do you know what cavities are? Cavities are tiny holes that form in your teeth due to bacteria found in plaque. When these bacteria feast on the sugars in your food, they produce acid. This acid attacks your tooth enamel and causes cavities. If left untreated, cavities can lead to more serious oral health problems like pulp infections and tooth loss! Did you know that there are certain habits that can also increase the risk of cavities? In this blog post, we will discuss ten bad habits that can cause cavities.
Sodas are loaded with sugar and acid, both of which can damage your teeth. Sugars feed the bacteria responsible for cavities, while the acid weakens the enamel. Not only that, but dark colas can stain the surface of your teeth and give them a lackluster appearance. When drinking soda, try using a straw and rinsing your mouth with water to decrease the amount of damage being done to your teeth. It is also recommended to limit your overall soda consumption to decrease the oral and overall health risks.
Chewing on Gummy Snacks:
Just like soda, gummy snacks are also high in sugar. While sugar is always a threat, gummy snacks are especially harmful for your teeth. This is because these sticky snacks can get stuck in the textured surfaces of your teeth, providing a breeding ground for bacteria. If you must have your gummy snacks, try eating the sugar-free varieties and/or brushing your teeth 30 minutes after enjoying gummy snacks. Removing the gummy residue prevents the bacteria from attacking your teeth.
Using Your Teeth as Tools:
Your teeth are not meant to be used as tools! Unfortunately, many people use their teeth to open bottles, tear off tags, and even crunch ice. Overtime, these seemingly harmless activities can damage and wear down your tooth enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities. Not only that, but using your teeth as tools is one of the leading causes of dental emergencies such as broken teeth. Instead, use the tools that are made for these purposes and leave your teeth for biting and chewing food.
Grinding Your Teeth:
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common habit that can cause serious damage to your teeth. When you grind your teeth, you are putting unnecessary stress on them which can lead to chips, cracks, and even prematurely worn enamel. The problem with teeth grinding is that it often occurs at night, which makes it hard to control. In many cases, your dentist will be able to determine if you grind your teeth by examining the surfaces of your teeth for signs of wear. If you are a grinder, be sure to wear a dental night guard to protect your teeth from damage and decay.
If you are constantly snacking throughout the day, you are giving bacteria more opportunities to attack your teeth. This is because you are supplying a constant flow of food debris and plaque for prolonged amounts of time. It is important to limit your snacking and brush your teeth after meals and snacks. If you must snack, try snacking on foods that minimize plaque buildup such as apples, carrots, or celery.
Smoking can be harmful for your overall and oral health. Not only does it increase your risk of gum disease, but it also increases your risk of cavities. Smoking also causes a variety of other health issues that can negatively impact your teeth and gums. Overall, it is recommended to quit smoking altogether.
Brushing Too Soon:
While brushing after a meal can help clean your teeth, it is important to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating, you can actually compound the damage being done by acid that is attacking your tooth enamel. It is best to wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. This makes sure that you can clean your teeth without causing additional damage to your enamel.
Flossing Without Floss:
Some people “floss” their teeth with items besides dental floss, such as fingernails, toothpicks, cutlery, safety pins, or even strands of hair. If you floss without using dental floss, you are not getting rid of all the plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Not only that, but flossing with items other than floss can easily damage your gums and can cause dental emergencies. Not flossing properly can lead to cavities and other oral health problems. For this reason, it is important to stick to using only dental floss.
Not Maintaining Your Toothbrush:
Your toothbrush is a tool that helps you keep your teeth clean. If you do not properly care for your toothbrush, it will become less effective over time. In fact, frayed old toothbrushes are not as effective at removing plaque, not to mention they are loaded with bacteria. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months and store it in a clean, dry place. You should also replace your toothbrush after being sick to minimize the amount of bacteria you are introducing into your mouth.
Sharing Eating Utensils:
Sharing eating utensils like cups, straws, or silverware with someone who has cavities can increase your risk of getting cavities. This is because the bacteria that cause cavities can be passed from one person to another. Not only that, but you can easily spread cold and flu germs from one person to another. It is best to use your own eating utensils. If you must share eating utensils, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards.
In this blog, we discussed ten bad habits that can cause cavities. Cavities are no joke and can have a serious impact on your oral health. If you have cavities, be sure to see your dentist as soon as possible. And if you want to avoid cavities, be sure to practice good oral hygiene and avoid these ten bad habits that can cause them. Thanks for reading!