Smiling attracts others, makes you feel better, and can brighten the day of those around you (it is contagious, after all). Simply put, there are plenty of reasons to keep your grin as pleasing as possible — yet there are tons of little things people do every day that can sabotage their sparkling smiles. Don’t make these mistakes:
Opening or tearing things with your teeth
When your tooth chips, you’ll regret not grabbing that bottle opener or the scissors to cut a tag off a new shirt. Your teeth are not an all-purpose tool at your disposal for a number of odd jobs — chewing food is what they’re made for, so use them for that. Otherwise, keep tools handy and resist the urge to solve problems with your teeth.
Frequently sipping on sugary drinks
If sugar and teeth were sports teams, they would be fierce rivals, heatedly duking it out for the title of champion. Unfortunately, sugar will always win in the long run, as it leads to the erosion of tooth enamel. Rinse your mouth with water after having a sugary beverage (in moderation), and drink it with a straw so it doesn’t come in as close of contact with your pearly whites.
You may find it soothing and refreshing, but an ice-chewing habit can be pretty annoying for those around you. Plus, it can crack and chip your teeth. Get your water in liquid form, and all will be well.
Grinding or clenching your teeth
Many people don’t know they’re teeth grinders, particularly if it pops up during sleep, but soon enough, the telltale signs of a sore jaw and worn-down tooth edges will likely appear. According to Dr. Alan Stern, “The latest research is telling us that teeth grinding is not a bad habit! It is an attempt to relax by day and an attempt to open your airway by night. Teeth grinding may be nature’s way of letting us know that something is wrong! If you’re grinding during the daytime, be aware, be alert, use relaxation techniques, and use a mouth guard if all else fails. If your teeth are chipping away and you do not clench when you’re awake, you may well have a sleep breathing disorder.”
Dr. Stern and his team are well trained to spot this problem and can guide patients to the right treatment that can possibly save their lives.
Dr. Stern adds that daytime clenching, on the other hand, is indeed a bad habit which can crack and break teeth, as well as cause facial pain.
“Confused? Come in, let us listen to your story and look carefully at your problem. We can help!,” Dr. Stern adds.