Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest and most mineralized part of the human body? Unfortunately, even the hardest part of the human body can deteriorate after years of misuse, neglect, and abuse. Check out the 15 quickest ways to destroy your teeth and learn how to prevent them in this month’s blog post.
1. Brushing Immediately After Every Meal
Most likely, you’ve been constantly reminded from an early age that you should be brushing your teeth right after each meal. While you should definitely brush after each meal, you should wait about 30mins before doing so. If you brush too soon after eating, you risk scrubbing away your enamel that has been softened by the acid your mouth produces when you eat. If you wait half an hour, the acid neutralizes and your teeth re-mineralize.
2. Forgetting to Floss
If you forget to routinely floss, you’re putting your gums in jeopardy of gingivitis. Flossing cleans between your teeth and under your gum line. The longer food stays lodged in contact with the gums, the more problems it can create. If you notice your gums bleed while brushing or flossing, it means you need to take better care of your gums or you could get gingivitis.
3. Skipping Checkups
Dr. Spivey and his team at Dr. James D. Spivey, DDS, MS, Perio in Portsmouth, NH recommends visiting us every six months. If you don’t go often enough, you allow plaque to form into tartar which is more difficult to get off. Tartar attracts additional plaque and carries it into your gums, causing structure damage to your teeth.
4. Using Your Teeth as Tools
Yes, your teeth are hard. Yes, they can break that hard candy, open bags of chips, and crack open a can of soda if you wanted to… but don’t! Opt to use disposable tools in your house like scissors and bottle openers. Unlike these cheap appliances, you only have one set of teeth to last you a lifetime.
5. Not Wearing a Mouth Guard
In any sport where there’s a chance of contact with something or someone, you should be wearing a mouth guard. We recommend a mouth guard for most athletes, especially those that play football, baseball, wrestling, basketball, martial arts, and lacrosse. It just takes one awkward collision with a ball or person to knock some teeth out and cause major problems.
6. Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth wears down your teeth, leading to decay. Also, the added pressure can fracture your enamel. Most people that grind their teeth don’t know it. It occurs when they are sleeping, stressed, or just bored.
7. Drinking Sugary and Acidic Beverages
Soda, fruit juices, and sports drink contain a lot of sugar and/or acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. Think that diet soda containing zero grams of sugar is an exception? Think again. The acid in those sodas are just as bad. Try a healthy drink like water instead. Besides being better for your teeth, water has been proven to have a ton of positive side effects to your overall health.
8. Drinking Coffee, Tea or Red Wine
More beverages that you should avoid are coffee, tea, and red wine. These types of drinks stain your teeth. Once your teeth are stained, the bacteria can lead to decay. Dr. Spivey understands that removing all of these drinks completely from your diet is easier said than done. If you must drink them however, make sure to use a straw and rinse afterwards with water.
9. Whitening Teeth Too Often
While it’s okay to whiten your teeth, whitening too much can have negative side effects. When you whiten your teeth, they become sensitive. When they’re sensitive, your teeth are more prone to irritation, disease, and worn enamel. Before using teeth whitening, check in with your dentist for proper instructions and care.
10. Drinking Bottled Water
Tap water contains fluoride, a compound that can prevent cavities. When you exclusively drink bottled water, you’re missing out on the fluoride your teeth need to fight decay.
11. Getting Your Tongue Pierced
A tongue piercing constantly hits your teeth while speaking. Metal jewelry can crack or fracture your teeth with prolonged use.
12. Being Bulimic.
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and purging. This causes serious damage to teeth. Besides the unhealthy food going down, the stomach acid that comes up with the food eats away at the enamel. There are, of course, additional side effects of being bulimic.
13. Abusing Drugs
We all know drugs are bad, but did you know they are also terrible on your teeth? Drugs like crystal meth cause the users to crave sugary foods, have dry mouths, and clench their teeth. They often end up with horrible teeth that fall out.
14. Using Legal Medications Continuously.
Besides illegal drugs being bad for your oral health, legal medications are bad as well. Using too many cough drops (high in sugar), birth control pills (can lead to gum disease), or antihistamines (dry mouth) are no good.
15. Smoking Cigarettes
Like drinking tea and coffee, smoking stains your teeth, making them more susceptible to bacteria. Smoking is also a major cause of gum and bone disease. Add a healthy mouth to the laundry list of benefits to quitting smoking.
Remember these 15 no-no’s to a healthy mouth and try your best to avoid them. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (603) 436-7787. Dr. Spivey and our friendly team at James D. Spivey, DDS, MS, Perio in Portsmouth, NH will be glad to help out in any way possible. Want to make an appointment? Visit our website at http://www.drspivey.com/