So you know brushing twice a day, flossing daily and getting regular dental checkups are the best ways to keep a healthy, happy mouth. But there are also a number of things to avoid in order to keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape. Here’s our list of eleven of the biggest teeth wreckers.
The Teeth Wrecker List
- Playing sports without a mouth guard – If you’re going for the toothless look, then we say go ahead and play unprotected. But if you treasure your shining smile, get the right type of mouth guard for your sport.
- Soda – Combine lots of sugar, phosphoric and citric acid and you’ve got a recipe that’s really hard on your enamel. And diet sodas have less sugar but more acid, so please don’t think that’s a much better option!
- Teeth grinding – If stress and worries are causing you to grind your teeth together while you sleep, it’s time to come see us. This can wear down the surfaces of your teeth and cause them to loosen. We can fit you with a custom mouth guard.
- Chewing on ice – We know it can be quite satisfying, but we recommend you switch to sugar-free gum. It won’t chip your teeth like ice can.
- Gummy candy – Another orally pleasing texture, we know, but this kind of snack sticks to your teeth long after you’ve finished eating and eats away at the enamel much longer. If you have to have them, try eating them with a meal instead, since you produce more acid-reducing saliva with meals than while snacking.
- Smoking – Along with a host of other bad-for-you side effects, smoking stains your teeth and opens you up to a greater risk of gum disease and cancer of the mouth.
- Wine – Wine’s acids and color (in red wine) cause staining and breakdown of the enamel. Though white wine doesn’t have the same staining effect, its acidic nature can still do damage.
- Coffee – Though you may end your day with the wine mentioned above, many folks start their day with coffee. Coffee also contains acids that break down enamel and causes yellowing of the teeth. Limit your intake, and brush as soon as you finish that morning cup of Joe.
- Frequent snacking – Our mouths need breaks between eating to deal with the sugar and lower the acid levels in the mouth. When you frequently snack, you’re consuming food when there is less saliva in your mouth to break down the foods, and you’re providing more time during the day for acids to attack your enamel.
- Cough drops – Though they may help stop that incessant cough, these drops are full of sugar and, often, coloring, too. Make sure you brush your teeth to get rid of the sticky coating they leave behind.
- Tongue piercings – Imagine biting down accidentally on a metal rod or ball. You could crack or chip your tooth and cause gum damage. Not to mention the higher potential for infection with a piercing in the mouth. Need we say more?
Talk with your dentist for ways to lessen the effect these culprits have on your teeth and to discover healthy alternatives to keep your pearly whites, well, pearly white. Contact us today.