No one wants to admit they have them, but we all do.
It’s just a fact of life – a price we pay for being imperfect humans.
We’re talking about bad habits – character quirks and infuriating flaws that we’d rather not admit to. We’re collectively biting our nails right now just thinking about it.
Bad habits fall under a lot of different categories. Their impact on our lives ranges from minor inconveniences and embarrassments to more serious offenses–flaws that endanger our health and relationships.
While they’re probably not fatal, oral health bad habits absolutely wreck your teeth. That, of course, gets our attention.
The wrong tool for the job
The package seems impenetrable. You’ve twisted at the top and bottom, tore at the middle and stabbed it with you finger nails. It’s still not open.
It’s time to take desperate actions. Slowly you lift that bag of chips to you mouth. Surely this will do it…
While opening plastic packaging with your teeth seems to be the ultimate in convenience–it almost always works in a pinch–it’s also a lousy idea.
And, opening jar lids and bottle caps with your teeth is worse.
Using your teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip. The only tasks teeth are designed for are biting (into food–nothing else!) and chewing.
Invest in a good pair of scissors or bottle opener instead.
Ice, not nice
It might be great for making a glass of water extra tasty, but the tip of your lips is where your mouth should draw the line when it comes to ice.
The cold, hard texture of ice may feel refreshing to munch on (especially on a hot summer day), but that same texture can crack or chip your teeth.
Also, ice’s frosty properties can irritate the soft tissue inside a tooth, which leads to regular toothaches.
Try a nice piece of sugar-free gum.
The daily (or nightly) grind
Besides pajamas, you might want to consider wearing a mouth guard the next time you slip between the sheets for some shut-eye. Even if you don’t become a linebacker one you hit dreamland.
This stems from the fact that many people grind their teeth while sleeping, wearing teeth down over time, and leading to tooth pain and sensitivity.
Grab your teddy bear and chamomile tea – but don’t forget the mouth guard.
What other oral bad habits have you had to break? Leave them in the comments.
Changing Lives, One Smile at a Time
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, practicing in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.