The life of a busy professional can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming at times, causing you to put important things like your health on the back burner. Your dental health especially might suffer if you do the following at work.
Drink Coffee All Day
A cup of coffee in the morning with breakfast will do little harm, especially if you rinse your mouth out with water afterward. The stains from the occasional cup of coffee are easily fought off with professional cleanings and whitening toothpaste. Drinking coffee all day, on the other hand, is a recipe for cavities and serious staining.
Coffee is acidic, so it softens your tooth enamel. If you drink a mug and move on with your day, your enamel hardens up again. But if you keep sipping coffee all day, your enamel remains weak and at an increased risk for cavities and decay. If you put sugar in your coffee, you're at an even greater risk.
Try to limit your coffee to one cup in the morning. If you need a drink at your side to work productively, try water, sparkling water, or unsweetened green tea.
Eat Sugary Snacks From the Break Room
One day, it's cupcakes. The next day, it's leftover brownies from your office mate's party. Sugary break room snacks are terrible for your teeth. The sugar feeds oral bacteria, which release acids that cause cavities.
To limit the effects of such snacks, try bringing plates of fresh fruits and veggies into the office. Leave them in the break room as an alternative for those who share your interest in improved oral health.
When you have to be out the door early in the morning, you may be tempted to skip breakfast. However, breakfast is an opportunity to squeeze in some foods that are really good for your teeth — like yogurt, eggs, and fresh fruits. If you skip breakfast, you might also feel more tempted by the unhealthy snacks in the break room.
Try keeping a stash of breakfast items like individual-serving yogurt cups, apples, and bananas in the office fridge or at your desk. Eat breakfast, even if it is a small one, as you browse your email and get the day started.
Forget to Brush and Floss in the Morning
You might also neglect to brush your teeth when you're in a rush to get out the door. Even if you miss just one tooth brushing session, you might have an increased risk for cavities and gum disease. Keep a toothbrush and floss in the office for days you arrive at work without having first brushed your teeth.
Chew Pens and Other Items
Stress can cause you to do silly things, like chew on your pen caps and nails. Doing so can chip your teeth and damage fillings. It can also irritate the muscles in your jaw, leading to jaw pain. To break these habits, keep a stress ball at your desk and squeeze it whenever you feel tempted to chew on something.
Allow Stress to Go Unchecked
Your oral health can suffer if your work-related stress builds without relief. When you're stressed out, you are more likely to grind your teeth at night, which can lead to enamel damage and jaw pain. Stress also impairs your immune system, so your body is less able to fight off the bacteria that cause gum disease.
Find a hobby or practice that helps ease your stress, such as working out, meditating, or gardening. Engage in this hobby regularly to keep work-related stress from spiraling out of control.
The office life can be rewarding, but it can also wreak havoc on your dental health if you're not careful. Avoid the bad office habits discussed above, and reach out to Ackley Dental Group if you're looking for a new dentist in the Spring Hill area.