It’s safe to say that no one really enjoys going to the dentist. It’s a necessary part of maintaining good oral health, but we know there are other places you would rather be. While getting your teeth cleaned isn’t anything more than a minor inconvenience, everyone wants to avoid additional, more complicated dental treatments like fillings, root canals, and extractions.

At Lake Villa Dental, we want you to have strong, healthy teeth for a lifetime, so we’re here to explain five bad habits that could be harming them. Often we do things that we don’t even realize we are doing. Creating awareness of potential bad habits is the first step toward making a change that will keep your teeth looking great for years to come. Keep reading to learn more.

Eating Too Much Sugar

Everyone has heard that eating too much sugar will hurt your teeth, but do you know why? It’s not the sugar itself that causes cavities, but it’s the bacteria in your mouth. Sugar feeds the bacteria which in turn creates acid that breaks down tooth enamel. When you consume a lot of sugar, you are fueling the growth of that bacteria which is continuously washing your teeth in harmful acid. Your body has a natural defense to help repair damage done to your teeth, but if the excess acid is always there, it can’t keep up with the damage. Prevent cavities and tooth decay by limiting your sugar intake.

Chewing On Ice

Some people love chewing on the ice more than enjoying the taste of the drink. Unfortunately, this is a habit that is extremely bad for your teeth. Chewing on ice is bad for your enamel and can cause chips and cracks in your teeth. Avoid extra trips to your dentist and either get rid of the ice or drink it after it melts.

Eating/Drinking Acidic Foods

Many acidic foods, although good for our overall health, can be very bad for our teeth. Citrus fruits (such as lemons) are very high in acid that eats away at our tooth enamel. Other enjoyable food and drinks that fall into this category are wine, coffee, carbonated drinks, and tomato products. The enamel on our teeth serves as a barrier and if there are areas that have been damaged or eaten away, it won’t be there to protect them from further decay.

Opening Packages with Your Teeth

This one should be self-explanatory so we won’t go into too many details. If you’re using your teeth as a tool, you have a bigger risk of damaging them. Avoid chips and cracks by just reaching for the scissors the next time you have a package to open.

Grinding Your Teeth

This habit can be a little more difficult to control since it often happens without you realizing it. Some people clench their teeth during stressful days at work and others grind their teeth at night while sleeping. No matter when you do it, if you grind your teeth you are subjecting them to excess wear and tear. Even worse, you could be creating more serious problems for your jaw.

If you know that you grind your teeth, or aren’t sure if you do but have the telltale signs of a headache and tired jaw, it’s best to contact your dentist right away. Some people aren’t able to break this habit on their own and need the help of a mouth guard to prevent significant damage. Visit our webpage on mouthguards to learn more.

Turn to Lake Villa Dental for Comprehensive Dental Care

Whether you’re looking for a dentist to do your routine cleanings or you’re in need of someone that can help with more advanced dental treatments, turn to the professionals at Lake Villa Dental. We are a family-owned business with expertise in both general and cosmetic dentistry. Our philosophy is to provide the highest quality dentistry with a gentle and caring approach. Give us a call — we’d love to hear from you!