We all know that eating too much sugar is harmful to our teeth, and we are aware of the bad impact of smoking on our oral health. But these are hardly the only things that can damage our smiles. At our Burien dental office, we know plenty of other habits that can be just as harmful to your teeth. Check our list of the worst habits that can affect your beautiful smile.
The natural acids in certain foods and drinks can erode tooth enamel over time. The acids in citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, honey, and wine can erode tooth enamel if consumed too frequently or held in the mouth too long. Sports drinks and soda also tend to have high acidic content that wears away tooth enamel. To protect your enamel, try to avoid or at least limit the consumption of these foods and drinks, and remember to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth after consuming them.
Constant snacking on foods, containing carbohydrates and sugar can cause the development of bacteria in the mouth that produce harmful acids for your teeth. Tooth erosion can occur when acids dissolve the outer surface of the tooth enamel, and this loss can lead to tooth sensitivity or cavities. Sugar is in almost every prepackaged food we eat, from candies to sports drinks, thus, trying to avoid it can be a difficult task. If you can’t give up on candies and other sugary delights, remember to rinse your mouth after consumption to get the acid-causing bacteria out. Brush your teeth if you have eaten sticky sweets to get them off your teeth. Being aware that sugars can be damaging to your teeth can make you more careful to keep your teeth clean and evaluate your eating habits.
Biting down or chewing on hard substances is very bad for your teeth, especially if you make a habit of it. Chewing on hard substances, like ice, for example, can damage your tooth enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency. The more force you exert onto your teeth, the more likely you are to eventually experience chipping or a fracture, which could even lead to damaging the nerve or pulp of the tooth and that will require serious dental intervention.
Most of us have used our teeth to open stubborn packaging or to hold something when our hands were full. Unfortunately, that’s not a good practice. Ripping open packages or using your teeth for anything else but chewing on food can chip your teeth or cause other tooth damage.
Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, you still need to see your Burien dentist on a regular basis for check-ups. The reason for that is that your dentist can check for problems that you may not see or feel. Many dental problems don’t become visible or cause pain until they are in more advanced stages. Examples include cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Regular visits will allow your Burien dentist to find early signs of dental issues, which can be treated at a manageable stage.
On average, seeing a dentist twice a year works well for most people. Consult your Burien dentist to find out the best schedule, according to your individual dental needs.