It’s true when they say that old habits die hard, especially when you’ve been doing them for decades. However, kicking bad habits can truly make a difference for your health overall, especially your oral health. Some of the habits your dentist in Lakeway is about to go over may surprise you; many people don’t realize how harmful chewing ice is for example. Regardless, he’s discussing them so you can improve your future oral health.
Here are four habits to break to help you get started.
Habit #1: Chewing Ice
Many people enjoy chewing on ice at the end of a drink, but doing so can cause a dental emergency when you least expect it. While chewing ice may seem harmless, it can actually damage your tooth enamel in the process. If you want to avoid accidentally cracking a tooth, opt for sucking on the ice instead or simply pouring out the ice when you’re done with it.
Habit #2: Sucking on Cough Drops
When you have a stubborn cough that won’t go away, a mentholated cough drop can do wonders for your sore throat. Unfortunately, many cough drops contain high amounts of sugar. The moment oral bacteria consumes sugars, it begins producing acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. To avoid creating an environment for tooth decay, make sure your cough drops are sugar-free before consuming. Alternatively, a hot cup of tea with honey is a healthier way to soothe a cough.
Habit #3: Biting Your Nails or Inedible Objects
When people get anxious or need to concentrate, they may resort to oral fixations like nail-biting or chewing on pen caps to help them relax. Nails are actually quite hard and can erode tooth enamel when you bite them daily. Plastic may be malleable, but it’s still hard enough to damage your teeth.
If you must relieve stress, consider using a stress ball, listening to music, or chewing sugarless gum to help you concentrate and relax.
Habit #4: Sipping Soda
The longer you expose your teeth to soda throughout the day, the more likely tooth decay will begin to develop. Soda also contains phosphoric and citric acids that will only erode your teeth further. While diet soda may not have natural sugar, your dentist can’t recommend it due to its link to other systemic diseases.
Instead of drinking soda, switch to plain water to keep the mouth hydrated, which is important for removing loose food particles. If you must drink soda, do so through a straw to minimize exposure. Rinse your mouth out immediately afterwards.
A great way to learn ways to break these habits as well as help your dentist in Lakeway catch them early is to visit him every six months for cleanings and examinations. Doing so just might save your smile for life, so schedule an appointment with him today!
About the Author
Dr. Daniel Eaddy earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at the San Antonio School of Dentistry. During his residency, he had the opportunity to receive advanced training in multiple forms of dentistry, including restorative and cosmetic dentistry, periodontics, dental implants, and many others. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.