If you’re like most people, you want white, strong, healthy teeth. You may even have exceptional oral hygiene because you brush and floss your teeth regularly. Yet, there are a number of habits and foods that may be hurting your teeth. The Chester Family Dentistry team wants you to know what to watch out for to maintain a healthy smile. Simple changes can go a long way towards protecting your teeth.
Chewing on ice can seem like a perfectly harmless habit, and you may not notice any effects when you do it. However, chewing ice can create cracks in your enamel. Over time, the cracks grow larger and can lead to a tooth fracture. Avoid getting an expensive dental procedure to repair your teeth by avoiding this habit. If it’s difficult to break the habit, perhaps order your drinks without ice.
Using your teeth as tools
Teeth are meant for eating and nothing else. Unfortunately, it’s common for many of us to use our teeth to complete tasks, whether it is to hold something when your hands are occupied, or to open packages. Misusing your teeth creates unnecessary strain on your teeth that can lead to cracking your teeth, hurting your jaw, or accidentally swallowing something you shouldn’t. Use scissors or knives when you need something sharp, or ask for an extra hand when you need one. Save your teeth for what they’re good at, chewing food.
Munching on potato chips can be the most satisfying thing in the world. However, potato chips are starchy and when they break down in your mouth, they easily stick to your teeth. This creates the perfect environment for the development of plaque bacteria. If you have no intention to give up chips all together, we recommend you floss and brush your teeth after snacking.
Snacking too much
The same issues that arise from eating potato chips can apply to any snacks if you snack too frequently. Constant chewing, especially with foods that are high in sugar and fat, leads to a higher risk for plaque. Once again, brush and floss your teeth after snacking. You can also choose snacks that are low in fat and sugar such as fresh fruits.
Eating sour foods
Eating citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, or sour candy that have high amounts of citric acid can cause serious harm to your teeth. Foods with high acid content erode teeth. It’s important to reduce your consumption of highly acidic foods, and drink water afterward, to prevent the fruit or candy from sticking to your teeth.
This is one that should come as no surprise. Tobacco dries out your mouth and increases the amount of plaque buildup around your teeth. Tobacco smokers tend to have a greater chance to develop gum disease than non-smokers. It’s also a big risk factor for oral cancer. This may be one of the harder habits to break. Seek help from a doctor to be able to give up those smokes.
Drinking carbonated drinks
Consuming carbonated soda is never good for your health. One more reason it’s not great is that it can erode your teeth. Carbonated sodas enable plaque to produce more acid that attacks enamel. A recent study even indicates that carbonated soda can be as harmful to your teeth as methamphetamine and cocaine. To add insult to injury, dark colored sodas cause discoloration of your teeth. Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking soda isn’t a good idea either since it can quicken tooth decay. Instead opt to drink something else.
Drinking red wine
When you drink red wine, you stain your teeth. Red wine contains chromogen that contributes to the dark red pigmentation, and tinnin, a chemical that helps wine stain bind to your teeth. Additionally, wine has a high acid content that makes your teeth more prone to staining and plaque.
Stay on track with your oral health to maintain your beautiful smile. Schedule an appointment with Chester Family Dentistry by calling their office at 330-331-9026.