Top Things That May Be Hurting Your Teeth
At Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead we’re big on preventative dentistry, including regular dental exams in Glendale, cleanings and x-rays. Dr. Ceyhan is one Arizona dentist in Glendale that wants to help you maintain your oral health. Following are some things that you may not realize can damage your teeth and leave you in need of a smile makeover. While some of these habits can do immediate damage to your teeth, the effects of others can accumulate over time until you find yourself in need of a smile makeover in Glendale.
Crunching ice is a common habit. You may not realize that your teeth are designed to chew through food, not to crunch up against something as hard as ice. Crunching ice is a common cause of chipped, or even fractured teeth. This is doubly true for any teeth that are already weakened by fillings. Think about it, your blender may even have a hard time crushing ice.
Consuming Acidic Foods and Drinks
Consuming acidic foods or drinks, such as those containing citrus fruits, tomatoes, or soda pop, contribute to softening your tooth enamel. Many people are unaware of how frequently they expose their teeth to such things. They mistakenly think that diet soda pop won’t damage their teeth, but the acid is still there. Another common mistake is drinking ice water with a slice of lemon and then chewing on the lemon. Repeated exposure to these substances can erode your tooth enamel.
Don’t think immediately brushing your teeth after exposure to acidic substances will help. Instead it will cause further damage to brush your enamel while it is in a softened state. Drinking plain water (no lemon) can help wash away some of the acids. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
One more thing not to brush your teeth immediately after exposure to is vomit. Eew! It may be a gross subject, but vomiting exposes teeth to damaging acids. Try to get by with rinsing your mouth with water, using mouthwash, or chewing sugarless gum until 30 minutes have passed, allowing your enamel the chance to reharden.
Colds and allergies can leave you with an irritating cough. Many people find relief by sucking on cough drops or hard candy. Despite the relief they bring, most cough drops contain large amounts of sugar. Eating sugary foods is known to contribute to tooth decay and since cough drops and hard candy are kept in the mouth for several minutes, you are exposing your teeth to high levels of sugar over long periods of time. Choose sugar free cough drops and hard candy for the sake of your smile.
Many athletes rely on sports drinks to rehydrate. Sports drinks can do the job, but they contain unnecessary sugar that can harm your teeth. In addition, it may be a double whammy since some sports drinks also contain citrus juice that softens your tooth enamel. Try rehydrating with smart water instead.
One in between meal snack isn’t a problem. What can cause problems is if you graze often throughout the day. Again, this keeps your teeth exposed over long periods of time to damaging sugars, food particles and bacteria, increasing the risk of dental caries.
Grinding or clenching your teeth, which your Arizona dentist will refer to as bruxism, can put your teeth under a dangerous amount of pressure. This can bring about cracked, chipped and worn down teeth. It can also cause damage to dental work. Some people only have a problem with tooth grinding when they are under stress. If this is the case, try getting more exercise or taking a yoga class to help reduce stress. If you find you can’t stop the grinding, your Arizona dentist may suggest a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
It’s hard to believe, but many people commonly use their teeth for anything from opening a ketchup packet to unscrewing a bottle top. Teeth are not tools! Using them as such can result in chipped, damaged, or fractured teeth. You may say, “but I always use my teeth to open bags of chips and pretzels, it doesn’t do any harm”. That’s what the others said until the time they chipped a tooth! Teeth are meant to chew food and smile, period.
Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health in so many ways. Since smoking involves your mouth it should come as no surprise that it considerably increases your chances of developing oral cancer. It also stains your teeth and contributes to periodontal disease. This is all true for smokeless tobacco as well. Studies also indicate that tobacco users suffer more tooth loss than those who abstain from tobacco products.
Now that you are aware of the harm these practices can cause, please focus instead on maintaining a healthy smile by flossing daily, brushing at least twice each day and visiting your Arizona dentist for a dental exam and cleaning regularly.
Come into Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead for your next dental exam. Dr. Greg Ceyhan is a great believer in educating his patients on the benefits of comprehensive care. Dr. Ceyhan attends a local dental study club that focuses on complete dental care. In addition, he attends continuing education courses frequently to stay current with the latest advances in dental care. Contact us today!
Dr. Greg Ceyhan – Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead
17100 N 67th Ave, Suite 500
Glendale, Arizona 85308
Phone: (623) 979-1515
Fax: (623) 878-1811
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm