10 Ways You Destroy Your Teeth Without Even Knowing It
In the 24 hours of your day, how many times have you thought about your teeth? Many people don’t really consider them as high-maintenance body parts. We believe as long as you brush regularly, our teeth will be fine.
However, this is where most people are wrong. You may be slowly peeling away the enamel of your teeth without even realizing it. How possible is that?
Here are some activities that most people do which could cause serious damage to the teeth.
1. Eating acidic foods
The most common acidic foods are citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits and limes. When you drink at a club and chew on these citrus fruits after every shot, you’re actually wearing down the enamel of your teeth. Acid causes the enamel to become porous, allowing bacteria to enter easily into the dentin. The best way to help control this is by rinsing the teeth with water every time you eat anything acidic.
2. Brushing after eating acidic foods
What’s worse than eating acidic foods? Brushing afterwards. Not many people know about this as a major crime. While the enamel is porous, brushing can wear it away easily and make it thinner, reducing the natural protection of the dentin. What you should do is drink water first and wait for half an hour for the enamel to remineralize before brushing your teeth. Make this a habit not only after eating acidic foods, but after eating anything. Some foods may contain high levels of acid without you knowing it.
3. Drinking bottled water
Bottled water undergoes a filtration process which removes most of the minerals in it, including fluoride and this mineral helps in strengthening the teeth. Apart from that, bottled water is more acidic than tap water. Tap water undergoes extensive cleansing without eliminating minerals, and it’s also fluoridated which makes it a better choice for drinking.
4. Doing cardio exercises
Did you ever think that exercise could be bad for the teeth? It sounds almost untrue, but unfortunately, it is. Exercising, particularly cardio, reduces the level of saliva in the mouth because of the strain and exhaustion that the body experiences. Saliva helps keep the balance in the mouth and prevents bacteria from growing rapidly. It also contains essential nutrients and minerals that supplement the teeth. The best solutions to keep saliva flowing is by chewing sugar-free gum while working out and brushing your teeth before exercising.
5. Weight lifting
Lifting weights can also reduce saliva, but the really teeth-damaging effect of carrying heavy objects is teeth-clenching. We naturally clench the teeth when lifting because it helps us exert more energy. If you’re a weight lifter or carrying heavy objects is part of your job, you may consider using a mouthguard. Call Azalea Dental today to have your mouthguard custom-designed.
6. Eating sugary foods
A lot of foods are loaded with sugar: dried fruits, candies and even breath mints. Sugar is the primary food of bacteria and helps them thrive. What makes this worse is that sweet and sugary foods are usually sticky, making it easier for them to coat the entire tooth surface and trap bacteria between the teeth and gums. Go for sugar-free alternatives to prevent this from happening, but if you really have a sweet tooth, make sure you rinse with water and brush thoroughly after eating.
7. Brushing too vigorously
While brushing regularly is the best way to keep teeth healthy, brushing too hard can actually backfire. Same goes if you’re using a hard-bristled toothbrush. These can wear away your enamel just like acidic foods do. You should have a soft grip when brushing and always incline at a 45-degree angle toward the gumline. Don’t brush like you’re trying to rip your teeth off. Instead, use soft strokes and take more time. It’s more effective to brush softly but thoroughly in between teeth. Brush for two minutes for maximum coverage.
8. Using the teeth besides eating
Do you bite your nails? Do you rip open food packaging using your teeth? Or maybe you bite a bottle cap to twist it open? Your teeth weren’t made to do these things. You should only use your teeth for chewing food. All of these habits and activities actually damage your teeth. Use nail clippers on your nails, get a scissor to open food packaging and use a nutcracker to twist a bottle cap. In other words, use the right tools for every activity: not your teeth!
9. Using powder teeth whiteners
So you’ve purchased an over-the-counter teeth whitening powder. Only problem is those powders are very abrasive. They have the same enamel-wearing effect as brushing vigorously and eating acidic foods. Yes, they may make your teeth whiter, but they can also increase the risk of bacterial infection and you may end up needing root canal treatment.
10. Using toothpicks
This is a shocker: toothpicks harm teeth?! Unfortunately, they do. When you scrape the teeth using toothpicks, you also scrape off some enamel. Toothpicks can hurt the gums because of their pointed ends. It’s more advisable to use dental floss for removing food residue stuck between the teeth.
It’s not that you can’t ever do these things, but you need to be more aware of how often you do them and how they affect your teeth. If you have any questions or concerns about your teeth and whether some of your habits are damaging your teeth and gums, call Azalea Dental at (407) 456-8405 and book an appointment.