You start your day with yogurt, granola and that latte, because who can get it together without coffee, right? At lunch, you may grab a salad, and then a quick soda later to get you through the afternoon. Dinner typically ends with a glass of wine. Sounds like an average day for most people, but did you know that your daily habits could be ruining your teeth?
Teeth vs Sugar
Sugar fuels acid-producing bacteria that live in your mouth, and those acids will eat away your tooth enamel, causing damage and decay to your teeth. The longer the sugar sits in your mouth, the worse it is for your teeth. So unless you’re brushing your teeth after each of your daily beverages, you’re actually ruining your teeth by drinking your latte, soda and even wine. Wine is acidic, which is harmful to your teeth; and alcohol has a tendency to dry out your mouth, which makes it impossible for your saliva to wash away the acids. Soda is a double-edged sword because it bathes your teeth in both sugar and acid, speeding up decay and damage. Rinsing your mouth with water in between drinks can help to reduce the sugar and acids that sit on your teeth throughout the day. More information here
Other Risky Habits for Your Teeth
Playing sports can cause damage to your teeth if they’re not properly protected. Talk to your dentist about a sports guard to help protect your pearly whites during sports activities, especially if you play contact sports. Did you know that you could even damage your teeth while you sleep? Many people clench or grind their teeth at night without even realizing they’re doing it. This can cause chipping, fractures and wear to your teeth that you will have to have your dentist repair. It can also affect your jaw joints and contribute to painful disorders such as TMJ. Your dentist can make you a nightguard to wear while you sleep that will help protect your teeth from wear and tear.
Chewing on ice, or using your teeth to open bags or bottles can also cause cracking or fractures to your teeth. Chewing on ice may seem relaxing, but it breaks down your enamel over time. Never use your teeth to bite or chew anything but your food.
Smoking and tobacco use also impacts your oral health. Not only does nicotine cause stains and discoloration to teeth, it can also cause oral cancer. Your dentist will screen for oral cancer at your bi-annual checkups, and this is important because oral cancer is very prevalent in America and is responsible for many deaths each year.
It’s important to create a relationship with a dentist that you trust who can help you understand and maintain your oral health. We’re here to help you make the most of your teeth for a lifetime. We offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic services that will help you repair and protect your teeth, and also improve the appearance of your smile if those are your goals. Schedule your appointment with us today and join us on the road to optimum oral health.