Brushing our teeth morning and night is something we learnt to do as children. But it might not always be enough to prevent damage to our teeth. It’s easy to fall into habits (sometimes without even realising) that put our enamel and our oralhealth at risk. Here are seven ways you could be ruining your teeth:
We all know that smoking is bad for us. It causes cancer, it pollutes our lungs and it’s a major cause of heart disease. But smoking is also very damaging to your teeth. Beyond staining and bad breath, it can lead to gum disease. This, in turn, can lead to more serious dental problems such as gum recession, bone loss and tooth loss.
Fizzy and Sugary Drinks
Acid is bad for your teeth. Fizzy drinks (even sparkling water) have a greater acidity than still drinks. Sugar is turned into acid by the bacteria in your mouth. So both fizzy and sugary drinks can eat away at your tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. Even seemingly healthy beverages like fruit juice and smoothies contain a high level of sugar. Try to stick to water when you can – staying hydrated helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy. For the good of your teeth, you’re better off eating fruit after a meal to get its nutritional benefit rather than consuming it in liquid form.
Trashing the Retainer
If you had braces as a teenager, you’ll remember that amazing feeling when they finally came off. But if you aren’t using the retainer given to you by your dentist, you could be undoing all of the good work done by your brace. Your teeth will shift and become misaligned again over time. Make sure to use your retainer as your dentist advises if you want to maintain your perfectly straight smile.
Using a Hard Bristle Toothbrush
Harder bristled toothbrushes can actually do more damage than good to your teeth. They erode the enamel and can also give your gums a seriously hard time. Though they may be expert at getting rid of plaque they could be causing other dental problems in the process. Use a brush with soft or medium bristles, be thorough butbe gentle, especially with your gums. That way you’ll avoid doing any damage as you brush.
Tongue and Lip Piercings
Sure your friends may think it looks amazing. Or maybeit’s one of those thingsyou always swore you’d get one day. But that tongue or lip piercing might not be as cool as you think – it could be putting your teeth in danger . Chipped teeth can occur if you accidentally bite down on your piercing. The metal of the piercing scrapes away at your protective enamel. Gum recession can be a problem because of the piercing rubbing against the inside of your mouth.
Brushing Straight After Morning Orange Juice
A glass of orange juice will give you your daily dose of vitamin C. But if you’re having a glass just before you brush your teeth, the acid in the orange juice could be weakening your enamel. You need to give it 30 minutes or neutralise the acid with milk or water before brushing the enamel away.
Night Time Grinding
Never ignore a nighttime teeth grinding habit. Severe grinding (or bruxism) can lead to chipped teeth, headaches and a sore jaw. If your partner tells you that you have a problem or you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after a night’s sleep, buy a mouth guard that will protect your teeth during the night.
Taking care of your teeth is essential if you want to maintain a healthy smile and avoid expensive dentist fees. Do all you can to protect your teeth, ditch those unhealthy habits and remember that any acid is bad for your enamel. Your teeth will thank you for it in the long run.