Friday, February 8, 2013

Advice from Colorado Springs Cosmetic Dentists: 18 Habits that Ruin Teeth, PART 1

This two-part article series exposes 18 habits and indulgences that could be ruining the health of your teeth and gums.

Few of us purposefully engage in habits and activities that can damage our teeth and gums. Most of the time, it’s blind ignorance that leads to problems that only a dentist can fix. In this two part article series, the Colorado Springs cosmetic dentist shall be lifting the lid on 18 habits that could be ruining your pearly whites!

1. Chewing on Ice: Ice may be sugar-free, but chewing on it can crack and chip your dental enamel. Your teeth were not made to withstand such wear-and-tear.

2. Playing Sports Without a Mouth Guard: Without a mouth guard, you have nothing to protect your teeth and gums should you accidentally receive a ball, knee or fist in the face. If you play a contact sport - any contact sport - have a mouth guard fitted by your dentist and wear it every time you play.

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3. Baby Bedtime Bottles: You wouldn’t go to bed with a sugary sweet in your mouth... so why would you let your tot fall asleep with a bottle in theirs? Overnight, their baby teeth are left to sit in a sugary bath, which encourages milk teeth decay. Feed your baby and then gently clean their teeth and/or gums before bedtime.

4. Tongue Rings: Trendy, yes... good for your teeth? No! Tongue rings can not only chip and crack your teeth if you accidentally bite down on them - they also make it difficult for you to brush your tongue, keeping it clear of bacteria. Lip rings can also chip away at your dental enamel and if they rub against the gums, they can cause infection and irreparable damage.

5. Teeth Grinding or Bruxism: If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, have your dentist fit a mouth guard to prevent you from fracturing your teeth and/or wearing down your dental enamel.

6. Gummy Candies: Anything that comes loaded with sugar is bad for your teeth because they encourage bacteria to thrive in your mouth. But sticky, gummy candies are especially evil because they stubbornly stick into the small spaces, cracks and cusps of your teeth. Only a thorough brush can remove this candy, making it a prime cavity-causing agent. If you have a sweet tooth, chocolate is better because it’s less likely to stick in your teeth.

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7. Sugar-Rich Soda: Carbonated beverages that are high in sugar and acid (phosphoric and citric) should only be enjoyed as a treat and not as a daily thirst-quencher. Even diet sodas lead to greater plaque production, so opt for a glass of cold water if you’re feeling thirsty. It’s a much smarter choice.

8. Using Your Teeth as Tools: Your teeth were never intended to force open containers, tear packaging or open bottles. Using them as tools is an abuse that can lead to cracking and chipping. You should use your teeth for one thing and one thing only: eating.

9. Sports Drinks: There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold energy drink after a good session on the field, but getting into the habit of drinking them after every workout could be dangerous to your oral health. Sports drinks are exceptionally high in sugar and in acid. If you want to stay hydrated, drink water: it’s calorie-free!

Stay Tuned for Part 2

What other habits do Colorado Springs cosmetic dentistry professionals warn us against? Stay tuned for the second installment of this two-part series to find out!