Many people go about their daily routine with little thought to their teeth and gums aside from twice daily brushing and once daily flossing. However, they may not realize that daily habits such as what they eat and drink and certain activities can cause problems for their teeth.
The enemy called sugar
Sugar is the biggest enemy to teeth and the longer it remains in the mouth, the more issues it contributes to. The acid-producing bacteria in the mouth feed off sugar and that acid then eats away at tooth enamel. Sugary treats such a hard or jelly candies that stick to the surface of teeth and between teeth are especially bad, as are dried fruit like raisins. A better alternative for those craving sweets is fresh fruit followed by a rinse of water.
Drinks and oral health
Regular soda, sugar-free soda, club soda and fruit juices with added sugar are all bad for teeth because they bathe teeth in an acidic environment. Alcohol such as wine is acidic too and can dry out the mouth, which reduces the saliva that helps wash away plaque and bacteria on teeth. For those who consume sugary and acidic drinking, rinsing with water can help.
Using teeth as tools
It’s never a good idea to use teeth as tools because although they’re hard, using them to bite off clothing tags, open bags or snap off bottle caps can lead to damage. Chewing on pens, pencils or ice is also a bad idea. And if you bite your nails, stop it!
Tobacco use such as smoking yellows teeth and dries out the mouth. Chewing tobacco’s carcinogens can remain in the soft tissues and gums for a long time causing extensive damage.
The American Dental Association reports that over 500 medications can lead to dry mouth. Having a dry mouth inhibits the production of saliva that washes away bacteria, and this can increase the risk of decay and cavities. Patients experiencing dry mouth should consult their dentist for possible treatment options.
Contact sports such as football and hockey can increase the risk of suffering an injury to the face, teeth and gums. Dentists can create custom mouthguards for athletes that are comfortable as they provide maximum protection to teeth and gums. Along with sports, mouth guards/night guards can also help prevent oral damage in people who grind or clench their teeth at night.
Avoiding certain bad habits can help protect your smile, as can regular dental visits with Creative Dental.