Did you know that around 91% of adults have some degree of tooth decay?

Even if you’re someone who flosses and brushes every day, there are plenty of other things you could be doing that are sabotaging your oral health.

Do you want to know how you can prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems? Keep reading to learn about 10 habits you should avoid that can lead to brittle teeth.

1. Eating Too Much Sugar (Especially Sticky Foods)

We all know that eating too much sugar can lead to horrible teeth problems, but some types of sugars are more damaging than others. Chewy foods like gummies or dried fruit get stuck between your teeth and create the perfect environment for tooth decay. Although you don’t have to avoid bad foods altogether, being mindful of their risks can help you drink more water and brush your teeth to remove the food particles. 

2. Drinking Soda

Soda is a guilty pleasure for many people because we know how unhealthy it is for our teeth and our overall health. Not only is soda loaded with sugar that causes weak teeth, but it’s also highly acidic. These two factors combined make soda one of the worst drinks on the market for your teeth.

3. Acidic Foods

In addition to limiting your consumption of sweets, you also have to be careful about exposing your teeth to acid. Acid weakens tooth enamel and can even lead to demineralization.

Some acidic foods to avoid include citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and vinegar. While it’s fine to enjoy some lemonade or pizza from time to time, make sure you drink lots of water to help clean your mouth and lower the acidity.

4. Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard or Immediately After Eating

Most people worry about not brushing or flossing enough throughout the day, but did you know that you can actually be doing these activities the wrong way? If you brush or floss too vigorously, you can cause weak enamel. Enamel is our strongest defense against bacteria, so make sure you buy a soft-bristled toothbrush and wait at least 30 minutes after eating so your enamel has the chance to harden again.

5. Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth

One bad habit plenty of us do is clench our teeth when we’re stressed. When your jaw is carrying so much unnecessary tension, your teeth are more likely to crack. Grinding your teeth while you sleep can also cause a lot of damage, so you may need to wear a mouthguard if the problem persists.

6. Biting Things That Aren’t Food

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to open a plastic container when you don’t have scissors around. If you can’t use your muscles to rip the packing, you probably switch to using your teeth instead. While our teeth are impressive and powerful tools, using them to do anything other than chew food can cause chipping and other issues.

Another activity you should try to avoid is crunching on ice. Ice may be made of water, but its hardness puts too much strain on our teeth to break down. Nail biters should also be wary since this habit can also weaken teeth and introduce unhealthy bacteria into the mouth that’s been lingering under the fingernail.

7. Having a Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercings may look stylish, but the hard metal can wreak havoc on your teeth over time. When you move your tongue to speak, the piercing can collide with your teeth and lead to chipping. Lots of people with tongue piercings also entertain themselves by flicking the piercing around mindlessly throughout the day, which leads to more rough contact with the teeth.

8. Snacking Throughout the Day

Did you know that our mouths become highly acidic whenever we eat? Although there’s nothing we can do to stop this natural process, we can limit the amount of times we eat throughout the day. If you’re a grazer, condensing your snacking and meal times into smaller windows can limit the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to.

9. Smoking and Drinking

Have you ever noticed how thirsty you feel after drinking alcohol? That’s because alcohol is a diuretic that causes dehydration. When our bodies are dehydrated, our mouths can’t produce enough saliva that helps flush out unhealthy bacteria throughout the day.

Smoking is another bad habit that can lead to staining, gum disease, and even increase your risk of oral cancer.

10. Using Teeth Whitening Strips

If you want to get whiter teeth, you should never use store-bought whitening strips. Since there is no one-size-fits-all whitening treatment, most people wind up causing more harm than good by the time they’re finished whitening with bleach and other chemicals.

Visiting a dentist is the best way to brighten your smile since they’ll be able to create the perfect whitening solution that isn’t too harsh for your mouth. They can also target darker areas to create an even tone.

Do You Want to Avoid Developing Brittle Teeth?

Maintaining a healthy smile all your life can feel like a daunting chore, but the results are always worth the effort. Since oral health has a strong link to total-body health, preventing brittle teeth can help you in many other ways.

The best way you can take care of your teeth is to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and a checkup. If they notice the early signs of tooth decay, they can help you pinpoint the cause and help you correct the issue.

If you’re looking for excellent dental care near Webster Groves, MO, Webster Family Dental would love to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us to learn more about our services and to schedule your appointment.