I knew I couldn’t be the only one who’s terrified at the idea of losing my teeth. And the very fact that a number of others have contacted me wanting to know if they are doing anything unknowingly that’s causing damage to their teeth assures me that my desire to keep my pearly white in tip top condition is shared by many woman around the world. So I have researched a number of everyday things you may be unknowingly doing that’s causing regular damage to your teeth and explained the basic science behind what they are doing and how best to avoid their enamel destroying effects.
CHEWING ON ICE
On a hot summers day, munching away on the ice in your drink may seem like the perfect zero calorie way to cool yourself down but be warned. Munching on hard frozen cubes can cause small cracks to form in your tooth enamel weakening its structure and making it more prone to chipping and deterioration. The coldness of the ice can also irritate the soft tissue inside the tooth to inflame encouraging toothache. So if ice still looks like the perfect hot day treat remember it’s always best to just suck on the cube and never to chomp it.
Tongue piercings may look great and be a nice statement of individuality but biting down on the metal stud in your mouth can easily cause cracks and chips to occur in your tooth enamel weakening and eventually destroying your teeth, in addition metal mouth piercings can often rub and wear away at your gums leading to gum damage, sores and eventually tooth loss. Bottom line, if you want or already have a tongue piercing it is more essential than ever that you properly take care and maintain your teeth including regular trips to the dentist. It may look cool but tongue piercings can lead to serious problems with your teeth if not properly taken care of so always maintain good hygiene and regularly clean your piercing.
Grinding teeth may be a nervous habit but if you find yourself constantly rubbing your nashers when you’re stressed or in the night its important that you deal with the issue before you wind up damaging your teeth and adding that stress as well. We know this habit like most others is very hard to control so taking protective actions for your teeth while you’re going through a bout of nervous grinding is a great way to maintain the heath of your teeth. Avoid eating many hard foods while you’re going through this habit to reduce damage and pain from consistent grinding throughout the day. Also consider wearing a mouth guard during the night to prevent further damage to your teeth from rubbing them in your sleep.
SUGAR EROSION FROM SWEETS AND COUGH DROPS
Now this one may be obvious but always brush your teeth after eating sugary treats, hard boiled sweets and even good old cough drops. These beauties may look dazzling in their wide assortment of colours and shapes but sweet hard or soft treats spell little more than a lot of trouble for your teeth long after their sugary taste has washed away. Most are loaded with sugar that corrodes the enamel of the teeth after bacteria in the mouth convert it into an acid and as much as we want that sweet confectionary or need that soothing lozenger it’s not worth the cavities that come after it so always be good and clean your teeth as soon as you can after you’ve finished enjoying your treat.
TEARING OBJECTS WITH YOUR TEETH
You may like to think your teeth have super strength abilities and can take on that piece of tape or bottle top without a concern but using your teeth to tear objects can easily cause them to crack or chip opening them up to infection by bacteria and eventually decay.
DRINKING FRUIT JUICE
Fruit juice may sound healthy and indeed in the case of providing you with essential vitamins and antioxidants it is in small amounts but most fruit juices are also loaded with sugar and in some cases can actually rival fizzy drinks for their sugar per serving intake. As with fizzy drinks, sugar is converted by bacteria in the mouth into a corrosive acid that over time can deteriorate enamel. In order to protect your beautiful nashers but still enjoy the occasional sweet fruit juice it’s important to look for juice that does not contain added sugar, fruit is sweet enough and additional sugar will only add to the damage you accumulate through each sip. It is also vitally important to remember to brush your teeth soon after finishing any type of sugary drink to help prevent the sugars from resting on the enamel and promoting erosion.
DRINKING WHITE WINE
You may be surprised to think that white wine can be ruthless on your teeth as opposed to red wine or even fizzy drinks as it doesn’t lead to much visual staining, however the acids and sugar in all wine weaken the teeth and can lead to enamel erosion that makes the teeth more susceptible to bacteria and infection leading to tooth decay. In addition the decay leads to porous teeth that are more prone to staining by strongly coloured drinks such as coffee, tea and red wine. A useful tip to help prevent tooth decay from wine is to swill your mouth with water after drinking and when possible brush teeth as soon as you can after finishing your drink.
SNACKING BETWEEN MEALS
Finally snacking in between larger meals may be a problem for the waste line but it can also be a major problem for your perfect pearly teeth. The mouth produces less saliva when snacking then it does for a full meal and these short bursts of eating small (often hard) treats causes the sugars and acids in the food to linger around the teeth for longer without enough saliva to wash it away. This is often why people tend to get food stuck between their teeth more often for snacks than during a big meal leaving food molecules to linger on the enamel longer causing more damage to the teeth throughout the day.
All of these factors can lead to severe tooth decay and loss over time and when it comes to protecting your peepers knowledge really is key. Although brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing as often as you can is important its not the only factors you should be aware off if you want to keep teeth around for a long long time. Be aware of damage from hard and sugary foods, remember to swill with water after acidy drinks and always protect your teeth from damaging habits or piercings in your mouth.