Ann Clark RDH
Enamel is the toughest substance of the body. But teeth can still be vulnerable when it comes to neglect, abuse or misuse.
1) Chewing on ice, pencils- Harmless? think again. This habit can chip or crack your tooth. It can also irritate the inside of the tooth causing toothaches or sensitivity.
2)Sports without mouthguards-Many sports require a mouthguard, a molded piece of plastic protecting your teeth. Without one you an chip or even knock one out. Get a custom fit one from your friendly dentist.
3)Bedtime bottles-Giving baby juice, milk or formula at bed can lead to decay. The remnants bathe the teeth in sugars over night.
4)Tongue piercing-Biting on a stud can crack a tooth. Metal rubbing against gums can cause damage that may lead to tooth loss. The mouth is a haven for bacteria increasing the risk of infection. Over time the metal can also wear down the enamel changing its shape.
5)Drinking coffee-The dark color and acidity can cause yellowing over time. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest to treat with a little whitening.
6)Smoking/tobacco products-These stain the teeth and lead the way to periodontal disease. Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue.
7)Drinking wine-The acids in wines eat at the enamel creating rough spots. A stained tooth is like sandpaper attracting more bacteria. Red wine contains chromogen and tannins which help the color to stick…rinse with water, alcohol dries out your mouth.
8)Constant snacking- This produces less saliva than when eating a meal, leaving food bits in the teeth longer. Snacks should be low in sugar/starch…try carrots.
9)Binge eating-Binging and purging(Bulemia) can do damage from acids found in vomit that erode enamel, leaving them brittle and weak. Acids also cause bad breath.
10)Whitening too often- Chronic whitening or not following directions acn lead to gum irritation and increased sensitivity.
11) Bottled water- Most have little to no Fluoride as do home filtration units. Fluoride remineralizes and strengthens tooth structure.
12)Grinding/Clenching-Bruxism wears the tooth down over a period of time. If worn to the inner dentin your teeth become sensitive. Stress, boredom, and sleeping habits make it hard to control. Worn down teeth make you look older and cause pressure to fracture the teeth.
13)Medications-Oral contraceptives can change your hormones and lead to periodontal disease. Cough drops are high in sugar content leading to decay. Antihistamines asue dry mouth as do many meds. We need our saliva to protect our teeth!
14)Drug Abuse(Meth)- Crystal Meth, an illegal and addictive drug can destroy your teeth. Users crave sugary drinks and foods, clench and have dry mouth. They notoriously lack in taking care of themselves.
15)Gummy candy-Sticky foods keep sugars and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours. Eat them with a meal as more saliva is produced helping to rinse your mouth.
16)Sodas/Sports drinks/Fruit juice-Sodas have 11teas. of sugar per serving. They also contain phosphorus and citric acids which eat at enamel. Diet skips the sugar but adds more acid (artificial sweetners). Don’t sip these beverages keeping the teeth bathed, chug them and rinse with water
17)Potato chips-Bacteria in plaque will break down starchy foods into acid. This acid can attack teeth for 20+ minutes if stuck between the teeth…floss!
18)Using your teeth as a tool-It’s convenient to open a bottle or package this way but it canlad to a chip or crack and nail biting is full of germs and bacterias, don’t chew on them.
19) Brushing too much, too hard or with a hard bristle brush-This can erode enamel. Toothpaste can be abrasive, technique is important so as not to take away enamel. Skipping check ups and not flossing will, of course, cause problems as well.
Being informed is your best defense!
Ann Clark RDH