Your teeth are important to you, and everyone knows the basics about oral health, brush and floss regularly, avoid sugary foods, and see your dentist every few months. But there are other things that you do which could be causing damage to your teeth without you even knowing it.
Here are the top five things that hurt your teeth.
Red wine and coloured alcohol stain your teeth, so you’ll be fine drinking white wine and clear alcohol right?
Alcohol has two problems, it dries out your mouth stopping the flow of saliva, and the acid in all alcohol erodes your enamel, weakening your teeth.
Saliva is important, as it has proteins and minerals that counters acids and kills plaque causing bacteria. The flow of saliva in your mouth also washes away food particles, acids, and plaque, reducing the risk of gum disease. The less saliva you have the worst off you are.
Also having acid chipping away at your teeth, leaves you open to cavities, sensitive teeth, and increases your chance of chipping your teeth.
So when you’re having a glass of wine, drink some water afterwards, to help wash away the acid and moisten your mouth.
Teeth are made for biting, but you can’t use them to bite anything you want. Chewing on your nails, crunching on ice and hard candy, using your teeth as impromptu bottle openers and scissors, and grinding your teeth all damage your teeth.
When you bite something too hard, or grind your teeth, you will cause tiny cracks and fractures to your teeth. These become breeding ground for bacteria, and catch sugars, acids and food which decay your teeth and gums. You also increase the chance of chipping and breaking your teeth. These bad habits can be hard to break, but for the sake of your teeth, you need to stop them ASAP.
Brushing Too Hard
I know you’re looking at this and going, ‘brushing too hard damages your teeth! Your crazy!’ but it’s true. If the toothbrush bristles are too hard, you press too hard on your teeth and gums, or you brush within 45 minutes of eating acidic food, you are damaging your teeth.
Just like chewing on something too hard hurts your teeth, brushing too hard chips away at your enamel. And brushing too soon is just like staining glass. The acids soften your teeth, making them very susceptible to damage. It’s better to rinse your mouth with water, removing the acid and waiting for the enamel to harden again which takes about 45 minutes.
Your favourite BBQ sauce, quite a few gravies, salad dressings and other sauces are full of sugars and acids. The more colourful ones are also full of things that will discolour your teeth if you eat them too often. Drinking water, and waiting a short while to brush your teeth, will help protect your teeth, but you can also prevent the damage before it starts.
Get a very tiny bit of petroleum jelly on your finger or a cloth and wipe it on your teeth, it should be barely noticeable. This will act like a shield between your teeth and the sauce, and it brushes off easily after your done.
Eating Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit is fantastic for your teeth, but the keyword here is fresh. Dried fruit doesn’t have any of the water that helps keep your teeth clean, instead its more like candy, full of sugars and it sticks to your teeth. This promotes gum disease, weakens your teeth, and causes all kinds of problems.
If you eat dried fruit, drink water along with it, and brush your teeth afterwards, since there isn’t much acid in the fruit, you don’t have to worry about waiting.
So there you have it, five things that hurt your teeth and how to stop them. To learn more, be sure to visit your financial district dentist in Toronto, and ask how you can keep your beautiful smile.