Perhaps nothing is as visual of a representation of yourself as your smile. It conveys emotions and also can even protect them. You can express joy, hide sorrow, convey tone and empathy. It is the one feature of your face that can indicate the mood you are feeling or the one you choose to show.
As important as a smile is, there are things we do daily that take it for granted and ruin our smile. Some of them are bad habits we know are bad, some aren’t as obvious.
Whether it’s foods and beverages we eat that severely stain teeth or chewing things such as ice, pen caps or popcorn kernels—there are many small things that can turn into major problems. Here’s what most don’t realize—you can ruin a beautiful smile not just from consumption of damaging foods but from insignificant habits that ruin teeth. They can be as obvious as bad oral hygiene habits or as subtle as damaging accessories. See if you can identify with one of these five bad habits that can ruin your smile and cost you an expensive trip to your local Houston dentist.
Ok, so this one may be obvious but we want to really emphasize just how dangerous this habit is. It’s a habit that not only ruins your smile but can literally kill you. Even if you have some dental problems aside from smoking that affects the quality of your smile—smoking will only compound and add to those problems that could otherwise be corrected easily. Smoking stains teeth horribly beyond repair, it weakens the jawbone, causes oral cancer, bad breath and many more serious problems that would take at least three pages to disseminate.
So maybe you have quit smoking cigarettes and like many other smokers have shifted down to vaping or E-cigs. These relatively new and popular devices help smokers quit cigarettes or at the very least keep them from the harmful ingredients in traditional cigarettes. But there is a caveat. While vapes do not contain the harmful chemicals such as arsenic and ammonia—they still contain nicotine and other ingredients in the flavorings that have shown to overwhelmingly cause gum damage in recent studies in 2016. Just as modern cigarettes were once new and the full extent of dangers not known—vapes are still relatively new and their full dangers unknown. The one fact remains, they still contain nicotine which is reason enough to quit vaping or any other nicotine-based cigarette replacement for that matter. But further, consider that there are indeed chemicals uses in the artificial flavorings of e-cig fluids and the extent of their danger is yet unclear. Better to err on the side of caution and avoid a potential bigger health problem.
Biting fingernails is probably the one thing on this list that no one can deny every doing. It’s usually born out of nervousness or simply boredom. Biting fingernails doesn’t seem that dangerous on the surface until you dig a little deeper. Besides leaving your nails jagged and possibly ruining an expensive manicure—think about how many germs your fingernails come into contact with daily. Not only that, think about how much bacteria gets trapped underneath the fingernails you are biting. All of that is getting an open invitation into your mouth, which is a perfect climate for bacteria growth. When you bite your nails, you are essentially turning your mouth into a large petri dish. Have we dissuaded you enough yet? No? Well, consider that biting your teeth can also cause chipped teeth that can cost hundreds of dollars and up to correct. Find a good a nail salon and treat yourself to a nail day—it will cost a lot less than a visit to a Houston dentist and keep you from having dirty mouth even Orbit gum can’t fix.
So this one may not be as popular with the general public as it was in the 90’s and early 2000’s back when Jnco Jeans and rave culture popularity was at its peak. It is still however very popular among several demographics. Any Houston dentist will tell you with absolute facts—tongue piercings rubbing against your teeth can wear down the protective enamel. Not only that, the clicking and clacking against your teeth over time can lead to gum erosion, fractured teeth, and even jawbone breakdown. Like Milli Vanilli, CK One, and fluorescent clothing—tongue piercings should stay in the 90’s— if anything, do it for your teeth.
Especially during the hot, Houston summers; we understand an ice-cold beverage is refreshing, and it’s a common habit to chew ice. Did you realize though that something as seemingly harmless as chewing ice can damage your teeth? Yes, It’s true chewing ice not only wreaks havoc for those with braces, it also does damage over time to those without. Dr. Raouf Hanna DDS, MDS— renowned Houston cosmetic dentist, says that chewing ice actually causes tiny invisible fractures in your teeth. Over time he says, those fractures can end up weakening the teeth and increase the chance of breaking a tooth. That means another trip to your local Houston dentist and quite a bit of corrective work. We love to see you, don’t get us wrong—but let’s not go crazy with the ice chewing. Be kind to your teeth.
Don’t Give Up—It’s Not Too Late To Save Your Smile!
So after reading this, you’re probably a bit paranoid seeing your habits on this list right? Not to worry, most people feel the same. We are glad that we’ve brought attention to the dangers of some of these seemingly insignificant habits, now it’s on you to make the call. What call? A call to the top Houston cosmetic dentist of course. Let Dr. Hanna and his team of experts get some x-rays of your teeth, examine for any problems, get you a good cleaning, and get a better picture of your oral health. We want you to have a beautiful smile for a very long time, the only way to keep on top of that is to come in and see us for a regular exam. Call Comprehensive Dental Group today and save your smile!