It's no secret that working in an office all day is not great for your health. Being sedentary for that long leads to weight gain and all of its effects, along with back pain from poor posture. One thing you may not have thought of is how typical office habits affect your teeth and your oral health. Here's a look at three such office worker habits and how to minimize their effects without going so far as to quit your job.
Sipping coffee all day.
You might feel like you need caffeine to keep you thinking and focused all day, but sipping endless cups of coffee is terrible for your dental health. Not only can this dark liquid stain your teeth, but if you put milk or sugar in your coffee -- as most people do -- you're constantly exposing your teeth to sugar. This feeds oral bacteria, and as a result, they release acidic secretions that erode your tooth enamel. Plus, feeding oral bacteria with sugary coffee all day perpetuates gum disease, which can lead to loose and lost teeth over time.
To reduce the effects of coffee on your teeth, you could try drinking it black or with only artificial sweeteners. You could also switch to drinking water or tea (with no sugar added) all day.
Eating pre-packed freezer meals.
If you're trying to save money by not eating out for lunch every day, you might pack freezer meals to microwave each day. But while these meals may be tasty and inexpensive, they also tend to contain a lot of hidden sugars. So, check the label before you buy, and only opt for frozen meals with no added sugars. You can even go one step further and prepare your own frozen meals. Just pre-pack them in a microwave container, freeze them, and grab them in the morning. Regardless of what you eat for lunch, be sure to brush your teeth after eating to reduce your risk of cavities,
Clenching your teeth.
So many people clench or even grind their teeth when they're stressed. Pay attention the next time you're working to meet a tight deadline or dealing with a contentious client. If you notice your jaws clenched tightly shut, this means you're putting excess wear on your teeth and excess stress on your jaw. Try keeping a stress ball at your desk and squeezing it when you're feeling stressed or anxious. This may keep you from clenching your jaw. Also, be sure you have a dental checkup soon; your dentist will want to check for cracked teeth and enamel damage that may have resulted from your clenching.
For more information, contact a local dentist, such as Paul Dona DDS.