10 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Oral Health
To maintain good oral health, a lot more is needed than simply brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. In order to keep your teeth in tip-top condition, it’s best to avoid certain foods, steer clear from activities that can harm your teeth, and take extra precautions where necessary.
Using your teeth as tools
If you’ve ever needed to open a tough plastic packet but couldn’t find a pair of scissors, it’s highly likely that you have resorted to using your teeth as a tool. Opening chip packets (or worse, bottles) with your teeth can lead to chips, cracks and fractures, which can make your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay.
Improper care of oral piercings
While there’s nothing wrong with getting an oral piercing, extra care must be taken to maintain your oral health. Oral piercings (such as the lips or tongue) can increase the risk of infection, and tongue piercings have been shown to increase the risk of dental complications such as chipped teeth and gum erosion.
Not using a mouth guard during contact sports
Mouth guards are not only for professional athletes; everyone playing a contact or semi-contact sport such as football, hockey, boxing, and martial arts, should wear a mouth guard to protect against breaks and chips.
Too much sugar
Excess sugar consumption is one of the leading causes of tooth decay; the natural bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar you consume, producing acids that dissolve and damage your teeth.
Acidic food and drink
Acidic foods wear away at your enamel, so the consumption of things like citrus fruits and juices, pickled or vinegary foods, and soft drinks (even diet ones) should be limited. When you do consume these foods, make sure you wait a while and rinse before brushing your teeth.
Too much alcohol
Too much alcohol is not only bad for your general health, but also your oral health. Alcohol tends to not only be acidic and high in sugar (which is bad for the reasons stated above), but it can also can dry out your mouth. Saliva helps to prevent food from sticking to your teeth, and can even combat early signs of decay, gum disease and other oral infections, so it’s important to keep your mouth hydrated and to minimise your alcohol consumption.
Brushing too hard
Brushing your teeth too vigorously or too often can wear down your enamel, cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity, and even result in cavities, so it’s best to opt for a softer brush.
Chronic nail biting can cause your teeth to move out of place, and, in extreme cause can even cause teeth to break or tooth enamel to splinter – just another reason to avoid this habit.
A bad night’s sleep
If you have too little or interrupted sleep, you’re more likely to clench or grind your teeth, which can wear down your enamel and result in micro-fractures and fractures.
While fruit contributes to a healthy diet, it’s best to limit your consumption of dried fruit. The sticky nature of dried fruit enables the sugars to cling to your teeth, which can speed up decay.
By taking extra care to avoid foods and activities that harm your teeth, you’ll be able to maintain optimal oral health.
Eden Rise Dental are your trusted dentist in Berwick and will provide you with professional advice and service to keep your smile looking its best.