No one wants to head into the dentist for root canals, fillings, or any other “repairs.” Well, the best way to prevent uncomfortable dental work is to take good care of your teeth.
Unfortunately, your daily habits may be preventing you from you best possible smile. Take a look at eight ways you could be hurting your teeth every day. If any of these apply to you, you might want to scale things back.
Brushing Your Teeth…Too Hard
Yes, you should be brushing your teeth every day… but if you’re brushing them too hard, you may be causing damage. Aggressive brushing, or using a hard-bristled toothbrush, has the potential to wear down enamel. Gum disease and irritation may also start with harsh brushing. Talk to your dentist about how you brush your teeth and the toothbrush that you are using.
A Cold Beer with Hot Chicken Wings
Now doesn’t that sound like a great combination? Unfortunately, though, washing hot food down with a cold drink (or vice versa) is a recipe for dental disaster. Hot food and drink causes your tooth enamel to expand, and cold food and drink causes your teeth to shrink and tighten.
Your teeth aren’t going to crack or fall out from consuming hot and cold food simultaneously, but you may notice that your teeth become more sensitive.
A High-Sugar Diet
Sugar doesn’t just feed you – it feeds bacteria. Bacteria converts sugar to lactic acid, and that acid eats away at your enamel, eventually causing tooth decay. The more sugar that is present in your mouth after a meal or a dessert, the more ammunition you give the bacteria.
One way to combat this is to rinse or brush your teeth after each meal, so that leftover sugars stand no chance at hanging around and contributing to tooth decay. Another option is to cut down on the amount of sugar in your diet.
Want to talk about cutting sugar out of your diet? Stop drinking soda. Even opting for a “sugar-free” alternative isn’t the best idea, since the drink itself is very acidic. High amounts of citric acid, carbonic acid, and phosphoric acid can contribute to an overall acidic environment that leads to tooth decay.
If you want to keep your smile healthy and full for years to come, it may be time to make the switch to drinks like water, milk, or juice.
Similar to soda, alcohol is an acidic drink. Alcohol also tends to dry out your mouth. This matters, because saliva is an important fighter of plaque and acids that cause tooth decay. Without the right amount of saliva in your mouth, plaque and acid can roam free to keep eating away at your enamel.
Even if you enjoy a healthy glass of red wine with dinner, consider a glass of water afterward to increase saliva production and keep your mouth fighting bacteria.
Morning Coffee and Tea
Unfortunately, your morning beverages could be causing harm to your teeth as well. Coffee is notorious for staining your teeth, but even tea (and even herbal teas) have high amounts of acid that can eat away at your enamel.
If your beverage-related vice is of the morning, caffeinated variety…that’s right, you might want to cut it out of your diet and wake up in other ways.
Grinding Your Teeth
Are you stressed? You may deal with that stress in the form of clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. This is typically done unconsciously – you may be grinding your teeth every night and not even know it! If you wake up with headaches or jaw pain in the morning, the answer might be your grinding habits.
Teeth grinding can have serious consequences, including tooth loss. A dentist can offer treatments or alternatives to teeth grinding that keep your smile healthy.
Forgetting to Make Your Next Dentist Appointment
A dentist appointment once or twice a year is one of the best ways to make sure that you are on the right track towards a healthy smile for the rest of your life. Every day that you put off making an appointment, you avoid addressing minor issues that could turn into major surgeries over time. Contact a Florida dentist today about making an appointment in the near future.