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3 Habits Which Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

Okay, so you brush and floss your teeth twice daily and you visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and professional clean. That’s great and you deserve a pat on the back for that. But you could be engaging in some bad dental habits which can undo all of the good work that you’ve been doing and compromise the health of your teeth. As a North Harrow dentist that’s been established for over 25 years, nothing surprises us when it comes to ways that people use their teeth without giving a thought to the damage they could be doing. So, we thought it would be an idea to list 3 of what we consider the worst dental habits, the damage they cause, and how to stop doing them.

  1. Crunching and sipping

cosmetic dentist in North HarrowDuring the summer especially, people are all trying to keep cool by upping their intake of iced drinks. They slurp them down and then crunch on the ice left over in the bottom of the glass. Seems harmless enough, but the coldness and the brittleness of the ice cubes can cause the tiniest of fractures in the tooth enamel which over time can escalate and cause tooth decay. Sipping sugary drinks throughout the day is another bad dental habit which can lead to tooth decay. To minimise risk to teeth, switch to crushed ice in drinks, and snack on healthy food such as raw carrot. If you must drink fizzy sugary drinks then use a straw positioned towards the back of your mouth and not resting against your teeth.

2.  Using your teeth as tools

As a cosmetic dentist in North Harrow we’ve had many patients seeking crowns and veneers to restore teeth that have got chipped through them using their teeth for a variety of odd jobs such as pulling out the winder on their watch, ripping open a packet of crisps, undoing a bottle of nail varnish, and ripping a price tag off new clothes. Such actions can be traumatic for teeth even causing them to fracture or for the edge of a tooth that is weak to break away. Think about what you’re doing before using your teeth as tools. Keep a pair of scissors or pliers handy for tackling these types of jobs and maintain your dental health.

3.  Tooth grinding

Tooth grinding can occur during the day or night, or even both, but whenever it’s happening, there’s no doubt that it’s wearing down your teeth. Teeth grinding can be caused by a person feeling stressed or anxious but often it’s the result of missing or crooked teeth, or a bad bite.

Your dentist in North Harrow may suggest that you wear a mouth guard at night if this is when the tooth grinding is occurring. Custom models offer the best fit and work better too, although they cost more than an over the counter guard. If you’re aware that you’re suffering from stress then you may want to look at some relaxation techniques or in more severe cases, counselling. It’s also a good idea to cut back on drinks and food which contain caffeine and lower your consumption of alcohol too. Avoid chewing pen or pencil tops during the day as this can damage your teeth and instead practice relaxing your jaw by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth. You can relax your jaw at night by sleeping with a warm flannel placed in front of your earlobe against your cheek.

If you haven’t had a dental check in a while then why not get in touch with Imperial Dental Care. We’re a private and NHS dentist in North Harrow delivering a comprehensive range of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic treatments for the whole family. Give us a call on 020 8427 2264 to book a consultation or contact us online at our website at We look forward to meeting you.

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