10 Surprising Things That Can Damage Your Teeth
Having a great smile is one of our best assets, so it’s important that we do all we can to protect our teeth. Most of us already know that things like smoking, poor dental hygiene and teeth grinding can damage the health of our mouths, but there are also a number of other ways you can harm your teeth. Here, we point out 10 ways you might be damaging your teeth without even realizing it:
You might think that eating ice is a brilliant snack – it cools the body down and contains zero calories. However, it’s actually pretty bad for your mouth. Chewing ice can cause cracks in your teeth, which are difficult to fix. Human teeth are not designed to crunch through solid objects such as ice.
Whilst they are great for replenishing the body with electrolytes after a tough workout, their high sugar levels adversely affects our mouth health. This dryness of the mouth also allows acid-producing bacteria to seep into our gums, which causes cavities and tooth decay.
A number of us are guilty of this (including myself). Opening packets, bottles or packaging with your teeth may seem convenient at the time, but in the long run it can earn you a swift appointment to the dentist.
Problems such as cracks, chips and fractures may arise, which then provides openings for tooth decay. In some serious cases, a broken tooth will have to be removed permanently and replaced with a dental implant.
Frequent exposure to acidic foods can erode enamel, which makes your teeth more susceptible to decay in the long run. Be careful when adding a squeeze of lemon or lime into a glass of water – citrus fruit and juices can irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink lots of plain water.
Red wine already has a notorious reputation for staining teeth, but white’s no better for your mouth. The amount of acid in white wine eats away at your enamel and leaves your teeth exposed to stains from other foods.
To combat this, have some cheese along with your wine. It’s bursting full of calcium, protein and phosphorus, all of which help shield the acids left in your mouth. For a less caloric approach, simply gargle some water to wash away the acidity.
The fact is mouthwash isn’t enough to protect you from gingivitis, yet many people are tricked into thinking it does. Even if you get that burning sensation after using something like Listerine, that doesn’t suddenly mean everything is ok. In order to kill all the bad bacteria in your mouth, you need to floss.
When people think of a healthy snack, you can guarantee dried fruit would be near the top of their list. However, sticky foods can damage your teeth simply because of how long they stay in your gums. If you do eat a lot of dried fruits or trail mix, be sure to brush carefully afterwards and rinse with water.
Restrictive diets and bad eating habits can cause you to starve the body of vital vitamins and nutrients needed for strong teeth. It’s very important that you get enough protein, calcium and folate in order to preserve mouth health.
Although you may have been taught to brush after every meal, doing this isn’t a fantastic idea. As we’ve mentioned earlier, make sure to rinse your mouth out with water after eating high acidic foods like citrus fruits, wine or soft drinks. Wait at least an hour before you grab the toothpaste.
It’s unclear whether bleaching erodes teeth enamel, but it definitely increases sensitivity, especially when done on a frequent basis. Be wary of using whitening treatments at home, with some of these toothpastes containing ingredients which can cause severe tooth pain.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.