Around your first year of primary school, your first grown-up tooth erupts. This tooth will be biting and chewing your food and propping up your smile for the rest of your life if you look after it properly

Most people, however, lose some or all of their teeth as they get older. While some of the reasons for tooth loss are genetic, a lot of them avoidable.\

Here are some avoidable dental habits that could cost you your teeth.

READ MORE: No onions, no garlic, good oral hygiene, but you still have bad breath

Midnight snacks

While midnight snack could be bad for your waistline over time (or some theories go) midnight snacks are definitely bad for your teeth.
The sugar and food particles from the block of chocolate you secretly eat under the covers stay in your mouth and on your teeth for the whole night.

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This turns your freshly cleaned mouth into a breeding ground for bacteria and increases your risk of developing cavities.

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Skipping the floss

Flossing isn’t the most exciting activity, but it is one of the only ways to thoroughly clean the spaces between your teeth.

These places are also where most people first develop discolouration and tooth decay.
Flossing at least once a day can reduce your chances of decay related tooth loss and can also contribute to fresher breath and an overall cleaner mouth.

 

Using the wrong toothbrush

Using the wrong toothbrush simply means you are not cleaning your teeth properly.

A toothbrush with bristles that are too soft can leave plaque behind on your teeth, a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard and injure your gums causing you to bleed.

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Neglecting your gums

Aside from injury one of the most common causes of bleeding gums is gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a gum disease that many people experience to some extent.
Gum disease is very closely related to the health and state of your teeth. Bad oral hygiene and an accumulation of plaque and bacteria can lead to gingivitis and the swollen, inflamed and sometimes bleeding gums can lead to tooth loss or signal impending tooth decay.

Grinding your teeth

Grinding your teeth and using your teeth as tools can damage your teeth. Damaged teeth are more vulnerable to tooth decay, sensitivity and further damage that would make the tooth or teeth unsalvageable.
There are many disadvantages to grinding your teeth and breaking the protective enamel on the teeth exposing it to bacteria and plaque. Similarly, using your teeth to open bottles cans and packets could injure your teeth and gums. This would make extraction necessary or increase the risk of tooth decay.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.