You would think everyone knew by now their teeth were really made for chewing food.
Though there are many who stand by this belief, there are a growing number of people who believe their teeth were made for…well, everything.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at these surprising (but common) activities people do that damage your teeth.
Using your teeth as a tool
1. Crushing ice – It’s refreshing, sugar-free and non-fattening. Why not munch on a cup of ice every now and then? What you may not know is chomping down on hard chunks of ice can chip and possibly crack your teeth.
If you still want this calorie-free treat, try downing some slush instead. It’s softer and easier on your teeth, yet still refreshing.
2. Cracking open shelled nuts – Yes, it may save you a walk into the kitchen to grab the nutcracker. However, it’s a good way to crack a tooth or veneer. Save yourself an emergency visit to the dentist and let the nutcracker do its job.
3. Opening bottles – That hard to turn water bottle is begging for some help from your teeth. Resist the urge. Though it may get the job done, it’s also a great way to strip the enamel from your teeth and even chip a tooth.
4. Tearing open plastic bags of food – We get it. Tearing open bags with your hands often results in the contents flying all across the room.
Though your teeth may give you a cleaner, softer way to open bags, you’re also putting your mouth on a package that’s been handled by many hands. Many. many. hands. Skip the germs and reach for scissors instead.
5. Loosening shoe laces – Laces get stuck from time to time and need a little extra help. However, tugging on shoe lace knots with your teeth is a good way to weaken your teeth and cause extra tooth sensitivity. Save your teeth and use a tool instead.
Exposing your teeth to too much sugar
6. Cough drops – With cold season around the corner, it’s tempting to keep some cough drops on hand. Just be sure to check the ingredients. Many drops are loaded with sugar.
Sugar, whether from candy or cough drops, reacts with the sticky plaque that coats the teeth. The bacteria in the plaque break down the sugar into acid which eats away at your tooth enamel if left on your teeth.
If you need a cough drop, find one with the least amount of sugar and be sure to brush your teeth afterward.
7. Sodas – Speaking of sugar, sodas are packed with up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Even more, the phosphoric and citric acids contained in sodas eat away at your tooth enamel.
The answer? Reach for healthier drinks, or water, to quench your thirst.
8. Fruit juice – Though a little healthier than sodas, many fruit juices also contain a lot of sugar. Even more, the fruit acids can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
Look for naturally sweetened fruit juices or use a little water to dilute it. Also, using a straw to drink your juice can limit your teeth’s exposure to the acids that damage your teeth. Use a straw to drink fruit juice to protect your teeth from fruit acids.
Your teeth are amazing and can do many things. If you want to keep them around for a lifetime, choose to use them for their intended purpose.