We all know that it is important to brush and floss daily as well as see your dentist regularly. Whether we are doing that or not may be another question, but today I want to discuss some common things people often do to damage their teeth that they may not know is damaging their teeth.
You probably also know that sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay, but did you know that the carbonation (carbonic acid) in your diet soda is actually bad for your teeth as well? Fruit juices are also acidic and can break down and weaken tooth enamel.
You should try to limit the amount of exposure you have to acidic drinks. Sipping through a straw can help you avoid making contact with your teeth as well.
Gummy’s and dried fruit can stick to your teeth and create an acidic environment that will weaken enamel.
Rinse your mouth with water after you consume acidic drinks, sticky foods, or even sugary foods and drinks.
Biting Non Foods Can Damage Your Teeth
Alright, our teeth were made for biting, but some things should never be bit into. Things that people commonly bite that they shouldn’t include pens, pencils, and fingernails. Not to mention that many people use their teeth to open bags and containers at times. This is one of the common ways people chip a tooth.
Biting Into Hard Foods/Candy
Some foods were never meant to be chewed, such as hard candy. However, there are other many common foods that cause tooth damage when people aren’t especially careful.
They include, nuts (particularly almonds), olives (with pits), popcorn kernels, ribs and wings, and hard fruits such as apples or carrots.
You can decrease your risk with wings and ribs by using a knife/fork to pull apart the meat from the bone. You can also cut apples and carrots into smaller pieces or cook them to soften them up before eating.
Alcohol & Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine come with plenty of warning labels. We are going to throw another one out there for oral health. They can decrease your saliva production, which is essential to maintaining proper oral health and hygiene.
In fact, many drugs have detrimental effects on your oral health. So, add that to the long list of reasons to avoid drugs.
One small thing you can do if you insist on consuming alcohol and caffeine to help offset the effects is to chew sugar free gum, which stimulates saliva production. Also, drink plenty of water.
Aggressive Brushing & Flossing Can Damage Your Teeth
You can be brushing your teeth too hard. You can also be doing damage to your gums by being too aggressive. Be sure to brush at a 45 degree angle and to use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Grinding/Clenching Your Teeth
Sometimes we do this as we go through the stress of a work day. Others do it at night while they sleep. Clenching or grinding teeth can wear enamel and even cause a chipped tooth.
Try to be aware of this, if you do it throughout the day. If you grind your teeth at night while you sleep, you might need to have a special mouthguard created to help prevent against it. If you wake up often with a clenched mouth or if your spouse can hear you grind your teeth at night, these are clues that you are doing damage to your teeth.
Sports & Accidents Can Damage Your Teeth
One of the most common ways people chip or break a tooth is through athletics and various accidents. Many sports require that you wear a mouth guard. It’s probably a good idea, especially anything involving high-impact.