Human teeth are really quite perfect when it comes to their intended purpose. Your incisors can grip and tear food, while your molars and premolars pulp it into a size that can be easily swallowed. Dental problems can arise when you attempt to use your teeth to do something other than this. All teeth undergo some wear and tear and degradation, and this is perfectly natural with time and a diet that might not be always be tooth friendly. Following the basics of general dentistry and oral hygiene will help to keep your teeth well-maintained, but when you place undue stress on your teeth, you run the risk of needing a trip to the emergency dentist. This is an unpleasant situation, and of course you want to avoid this discomfort and expense. So what are some bad dental habits you need to break, so that you don't break your teeth?
1. Ice Is Not Nice
Don't crunch on the ice in your soft drink. It's as simple as that. You might do it without even thinking about it, but it's a habit that needs to be broken. The hardness of the ice is brutal on your teeth, and your teeth are not as strong as you might think when it comes to ice. Your teeth are part of your body, so they are naturally warm. When this is contrasted with the coldness of the ice, it can significantly weaken teeth. All it takes is one crunch too many for a tooth to crack, meaning an extensive repair will be necessary. If you need to consume the ice in your drink, remove your teeth from the equation and simply suck on the ice without biting it.
2. Plastic Is Not Fantastic
Your teeth are not a tool for opening things. How many times have you tried to tear open a bag or open a bottle using your teeth? This can crack your teeth without warning, and so should not be done under any circumstances. Bottles in particular have edges that are designed to make them easier to grip (with your hands), but these bluntly serrated edges can also inflict serious damage on your tongue and gums if your grip happens to slip. There are numerous effective ways to open a tight bottle or jar that don't involve your teeth, and it's smart to familiarise yourself with them.
3. It's Not Fine to Grind
Do you often wake up with tingling teeth and an aching jaw? It might be possible that you suffer from bruxism, which is the clinical term for chronic grinding of the teeth. There are a number of contributing factors for this condition, and it might be diet, stress, or improper dental work. Dental work that has not resulted in an even surface (such as an implant or crown that is higher than other teeth) can make you grind your teeth in an effort to wear down the gap. You're rarely aware that you're doing this, as bruxism is involuntary. Your dentist might prescribe a mouthguard for when you sleep, and some sugar-free gum can be beneficial during the day. Some dietary and/or lifestyle changes might also be recommended.
By making sure that you only use your teeth for their intended purpose, you can avoid certain dental emergencies altogether. It might seem convenient to use your teeth to open a bottle, but it won't be convenient when you need to visit a general dentistry clinic to have a tooth replaced.