Given that we only have a limited number of them, our teeth are extremely valuable. So, it pays to know the habits that will protect these priceless assets and those that are to be avoided. Avoid these things if you want to enter old age with strong, healthy teeth.
Don’t eat too much acidic foods
Everyone knows that soft drinks do your teeth no favours. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and they in turn produce acid which attacks the enamel of your teeth. But what is less well known is the fact that these beverages are acidic. So, take them in moderation; even sugar-free soft drinks are hazardous to a healthy mouth.
We have a love-hate relationship with lemons. On the one hand, they help in teeth whitening but at the same time, they are extremely acidic. It is therefore recommended to not cut the lemon into wedges and suck the juice out this way. Citric acid eliminates several important minerals in the protection of your teeth, which can make them vulnerable to cold food and prone to chipping and cracking. Do not remove lemons entirely from your diet however; they offer several very good health benefits. You can add them to drinks and food, but avoid putting them directly in your mouth, or if you must, make it quick!
The reputation of red wine on your teeth is fairly widespread; this is definitely a food that stains. Some, to avoid this situation, are turning to white wines. But beware; white wines are more acidic, and they attack the enamel exposing the dentin which results in a more yellow appearance of your teeth and a greater sensitivity to stains from other foods. The solution? Rinse your mouth after drinking wine and pair your drinks with cheeses to offset the acidity of the wine.
Chewing hard things
You’ve just ordered a drink containing ice on a hot day – what better than to chew some of the ice cubes? But be warned, this habit can cause many problems, such as the creation of fracture lines, chips and cracks on the teeth. And the ice is not the only guilty party; all hard objects can cause cracks. So, avoid biting on pens, pencils, candy, nuts, un–popped corn, etc. If the cracks are important, a root canal or surgery to repair the aesthetic problem may be considered. So if you have the habit of chewing on hard things, changing this can save you lots of money n the future.
Have a bag of chips to open? You might be tempted to use your teeth to open it. Even worse, some people use their teeth to open beer caps! The damage to your teeth can be extensive: cracks, misalignment, uneven wear, chips, and exposed or otherwise damaged teeth. All this can be avoided by just using the appropriate tools, so think before you use those valuable teeth.
How many people do you know who chew their fingernails? This habit is as bad for your teeth as it is for your nails. As a result, you could end up with broken or chipped front teeth. And in addition, bacteria that are under your nails can cause decay if they get into your mouth. Enjoy your meal!
Mixing hot and cold
Taking a bite of ice cream right after taking a sip of tea is not ideal for your teeth. You go from one extreme to another in a moment and your mouth as well as your teeth are not able to adapt. As a result; you can create mini cracks on your teeth as well as all the problems that come with them. Be careful and cool your food before putting it in your mouth and don’t mix extreme temperatures.
Brushing your teeth is important to keep them clean and healthy. But brushing too hard can cause problems. Especially if you use a toothbrush with firm or hard bristles. This abusive brushing can reduce tooth enamel and can also be the cause of gum problems.
Use a good fluoride toothpaste which will reinforce the enamel of your teeth. Also, flossing is a great habit, but it must be combined with brushing. Flossing alone does not provide all the benefits of a good brushing.
Want white teeth? This is normal, but you should be careful. Whitening products can weaken the enamel if used in an abusive way. So go ahead with moderation. Or visit your dentist to find out about the best options available for you.
Other habits to avoid
Not everyone who grinds their teeth is aware of this problem. But if you do know that you grind, you must take action to avoid negative consequences like unevenly worn teeth, cracks, fractures, loosening of teeth, joint pain in the jaw, headaches or toothache. The solution can be as simple as wearing a specially adapted mouth guard, and this could save you a lot of problems down the line.
One final habit to avoid – but this one is only for our little ones: sucking on your thumb. This bad habit can change the alignment of the upper teeth and sometimes even the lower teeth. In some cases, orthodontic treatment is required. So, don’t let your child suck their thumb. His/her smile and your wallet will thank you.