While it isn’t the most inspiring thing to think about, it is nonetheless true to say that most of us spend most of our waking lives either at work or thinking about work. Not what you’d call the most satisfying existence in most instances, but nonetheless the standard way of life we all have to deal with!
Which is precisely why it is important to occasionally take a step back and consider how our workplace habits may be having an effect on our health. For the most part, we tend to simply travel to work, do whatever it is we need to do around the office and watch the clock until it’s time to go home. Nevertheless, there are certain positive and negative habits around the office that can have a significant impact on our overall health.
…including the health of our teeth and gums!
Believe it or not, there are many experts who believe that much of the damage we do to our teeth throughout our adult lives is actually caused by what we do and fail to do at work. The problem being that when distracted by spreadsheets, meetings, phone calls, emails and so on, it can be difficult to remember to actively watch over our oral health and hygiene.
So as something of a ‘nudge’ in the right direction for the more proactive types out there, here’s a quick rundown of just a few of the most common workplace habits that could be damaging your teeth and gums:
Chewing on Pencils or Pens
First and foremost, the biggest problem with this particular bad habit is the way in which it tends to occur without you even realising it. Millions of people up and down the country instinctively and subconsciously nibble on the ends of pencils, pens and other office supplies throughout the day. The problem being that while it may be somewhat satisfying on a subconscious level, it can have a devastating effect on your teeth and gums. The simple fact of the matter being that your teeth are not designed to cope with materials as hard as pens, pencils and office supplies in general. Meaning that when you chew on them, you run the risk of cracking, chipping, breaking or loosening your teeth. What’s more, in terms of bacteria and hygiene in general, chewing on office supplies really isn’t a good idea.
The thing to remember about snacking is that even when you proactively choose foods and drinks that aren’t loaded with acids or sugars, they can still leave behind the kind of debris and bacteria that lead to oral health problems. Meaning that it isn’t in your best interests to continually snack throughout the entire day, without giving your teeth and gums a break. By doing so, you effectively expose your teeth to all manner of attacks on a constant basis throughout the working day, which for obvious reasons isn’t what you’d call a good idea. Given that it is inevitable that you will be eating and snacking to some extent at work, arm yourself with a bottle of dentist recommended mouthwash for an occasional rinse, every now and again.
Using Teeth as Tools
This is the kind of habit pretty much every single person without exception is guilty of from time to time. You find yourself in a position where you cannot open or access something using your fingers, so rather than walking 8 yards to collect a pair of scissors, you instead use your teeth. A habit we are all guilty of, but nonetheless a habit that can wreak havoc with the health of your teeth and gums. Once again, it’s a case of using your teeth for the kinds of jobs and materials they simply were not designed to be compatible with. Which is pretty inexcusable, given the way in which it is highly unlikely that you will ever be far from the actual tools/office supplies you need to get the job done properly.
One of the single worst things anyone can do when it comes to the overall oral health and hygiene is smoke. The problem being that in an office environment, you may find yourself compelled to take far more cigarette breaks than you normally would, subsequently smoking more cigarettes than you otherwise might. Even in instances where you cannot necessarily see or feel the damage, you can rest assured that each and every cigarette is causing all manner of potentially serious problems in your mouth and body in general. While it’s not as if quitting smoking – especially when working with colleagues who smoke – is an easy thing to do, it is nonetheless something you should and must make every effort to do for the sake of your oral health.
Sweets and Treats
Last but not least, it’s part and parcel of office culture these days to partake in considerably more sweets and treats than you would probably consume on the average day at home. And to an extent there’s nothing wrong with making the day that little bit more bearable and perhaps even enjoyable with a few tasty incentives. Unfortunately, there is no escaping the fact that the greater the number of sweets and treats you consume during the day, the more negative the impact on your oral health and hygiene. You can compensate to a certain extent by chewing gum or periodically using a high-quality mouthwash, but it is still a good idea to keep tabs on exactly what you are consuming.
In a nutshell, the primary takeaway is that of being at least a little more proactive and mindful when it comes to the kinds of workplace habits that could be damaging your teeth. If you are going to make every effort to look after your teeth and gums at home with a dentist recommended electric toothbrush and quality water flossers, it simply makes sense to ensure that you don’t then go and undo all your hard work at the office.