For inquiring minds who’d like to know what will ruin their teeth the quickest, read on.  Perhaps you’ll think twice, in the future, if you practice any of the habits below:

  1. Having poor oral hygiene.  Duh.  It sounds self-explanatory, but what exactly does strong oral hygiene entail?  Brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing your mouth with water after eating when a toothbrush isn’t available.  It’s likely there’s something on that list we are leaving out, to be honest.
  2. Grinding or clenching teeth.  This one is tricky, because often, it happens at night, as we sleep.  Uncaught it can lead to severe jaw pain, tooth sensitivity and damage to the teeth and jawbone.
  3. Eating ice.  In fact, the American Dental Association deems it the “riskiest habit” for one’s teeth.  Yikes.  It wears away at tooth enamel and often causes fractures in the teeth.  The cold temperature of ice can also tamper with any existing fillings or crowns.
  4. Nail biting.  This can cause you to chip your teeth and wear down the enamel, making them more sensitive over time.
  5. Drinking sugary drinks.  The increase in cavities and erosion are due, in part, to the popularity of sugary drinks, especially energy varieties as well as juices and soda.  The sugar sticks to the teeth, and unless there’s intentionality in brushing soon after consuming a drink, bacteria grow as a result.

What I can tell you is that preventative care is the best way to ensure your teeth are well maintained and professionally assessed. And you can do your part by practicing habits that improve the functionality and care of your teeth; after all, it’s the only set you get.