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We know you care about your teeth. You brush twice a day, floss, and see us for regular checkups. But even after all of your diligence, simple bad habits can dim your smile. Here is a list of seven bad habits that many Portlanders have which ruin teeth:Do You Have These Teeth Damaging Habits?

1. Chewing on ice

Ice cubes don’t seem like they should be harmful. But, because of how cold and hard ice is, they can cause harm and even crack your teeth. Over time tiny cracks in your teeth can become a big problem, so let your blender or ice machine crush ice. It’s much easier to replace those machines when they break down.

2. Tearing things open with your teeth

We have all encountered moments when scissors or pliers don’t seem to be doing the job. Some of us decide that if machines can’t open something, teeth will do the trick. Unfortunately, using teeth as a tool can damage dental work or cause teeth to crack.

3. Sucking on lemons

Lemons are usually good for you. They contain vitamin C and many B vitamins. They have magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and fiber. This makes lemon a great additive to water, a yummy flavor for fish, and much more. However, lemons are not safe to eat directly. The acid found in lemons can corrode your tooth enamel, dulling your smile and making your teeth susceptible to decay.

4. Starting the day with a can of soda

People across the country start their day with a sparkling, caffeinated beverage like soda or an energy drink. Unfortunately, carbonated drinks are bad for your teeth. They, like lemons, are very acidic and can decay both your tooth enamel and gum line. Additionally, many sodas can be extremely sugary, which helps feed tooth plaque and accelerates tooth decay.

5. Biting down on objects with your teeth

Your teeth and jaw are designed to chew and tear foods – not to hold objects or chew on things. Non-food objects don’t react to teeth the way that food does. In fact, many are much harder and have very little give when compared to an apple or carrot. That’s why you may not notice how hard your jaws are working to hold your glasses or a pen until your teeth shift or crack. So get out of the habit of chewing on objects in order to concentrate. Pop in some gum instead.

6. Using toothpicks too aggressively

Toothpicks can be used to help keep the areas between your teeth clean after meals. However, don’t use a toothpick absent-mindedly or aggressively. This can cause pain and bleeding, damaging your gums instead of keeping them clean.

7. Smoking or chewing tobacco

One of the worst habits you can pick up is smoking or chewing tobacco. These habits can both cause oral cancer, tooth staining, and can make it harder to recover from dental work.

Are you concerned that one of your bad habits is causing you dental pain? Do you need a checkup to make sure your mouth is healthy? Contact us today! We would love to see you and discuss any dental habit that troubles you.