Avoid These 7 Things That Damage Enamel

There are a number of habits that can hurt your mouth on a daily basis, but look for these 7 things that can hurt your teeth.

1. Chew on Pens

Most of us at some point have had the urge to chew on a bottle cap of a soda or water bottle. But doing so can spell trouble for your teeth.

2. Opening Wrappers with Teeth

From chip bags to candy wrappers, we've all had to use our teeth to open packages when scissors aren't around. But for the sake of your teeth, avoid doing this and take the extra time it takes to find a tool other than your teeth to open the package.

3. Grinding Your Teeth

Some people have a natural reaction to anxiety that involves grinding their teeth, either while awake or sleeping. When you grind your teeth back and forth, this can wear them down, as can clenching your teeth. Grinding also wears down enamel, opening the door to tooth decay. If you are struggling with grinding and clenching, ask your dentist if a mouth guard may be a good option for you.

4. Avoid Excessive Over-Whitening

There are many easy-to-use, safe and effective whitening products available at drugstores now. Try to stick to a few you like and use only as directed. If you are whitening your teeth too often with too many products, this can lead to tooth sensitivity. If you have worn enamel or sensitive teeth, whitening may not be a good practice for you and may negatively affect already vulnerable teeth. If you have any gum, mouth or teeth concerns, check with your dentist first to see if whitening treatments are a safe option for you.

5. Getting a Tongue Piercing

Having a piece of tongue jewelry that lashes around your mouth can chip and shave your teeth, leading to costly treatment and worn enamel.

6. Smoking

When you have stains on your teeth they don't just look bad and unappealing, they can actually make your teeth more vulnerable to damaging bacteria.

7. Medications

Even some medications that are available over the counter, without a prescription, such as cough medications loaded with sugar and antihistamines, can lead to dry mouth, which can in turn lead to tooth decay.