Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, they need proper care beyond regular brushing, flossing and dental visits. In fact, the habits you engage in on a daily basis can have a significant impact on the health and longevity of your teeth. Are you protecting your smile? Or are you guilty of these common harmful habits?
#1 Sugar– This one comes to little surprise. We are taught at a young age how bad sugar can be for your teeth. When it comes to sugar, the “sticky sugar” is the worst, which can include taffy, gummies or even raisins. If these sugars are allowed to adhere to your tooth surface for long, enamel destruction and cavities will surely follow. If you just can’t say no to your sweet tooth, try to at least follow your indulgence with a glass of water or better yet, grab your toothbrush.
#2 Smoking – Smoking and chewing tobacco are a surefire way to wreak serious havoc on your dental health as well as your smile aesthetics. Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor, which inhibits proper blood flow to your gums and lowers your immune system. Smoking yellows your teeth, causes bad breath and multiplies your risk for gum disease and oral cancer.
#3 Your Beverages – You may not consider how your drinks impact your teeth, but they actually have a strong influence on your smile health. When it comes to your beverage, know your pH level. While milk and water are your friend, sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks should be consumed with caution. Acidic and sugared drinks eat away at your tooth’s enamel, which can cause irreversible damage.
#4 Sports – Getting exercise and playing a team sport is great for your body health. However, if you are not protecting your teeth while on the field, your smile is at major risk. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouth guard! Not only can a mouth guard help you avoid a chipped or knocked out tooth, but they are also proven to prevent concussions. Getting a custom mouth guard from your dentist is easy and affordable.
#5 Stress – There are different ways that people respond to stress, sometimes involuntarily. Unfortunately, many of these stress reactions are bad dental habits. If you grind your teeth, clench your jaw, bite your nails or chew on your pen when you are feeling under pressure, you may find yourself with a damaged smile over time. Find ways to alleviate your chronic stress or talk to your dentist about a nighttime mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding.
At Salt Run Family Dentistry, we work hard to educate our patients on the best ways to care for their smile in between dental checkups. However, if you’re guilty of some of these habits and the damage is already done, rest assured that we have a full menu of advanced dental services to restore your smile to new.
Salt Run Family Dentistry
St. Augustine, FL 32080