Taking care of your teeth is an essential component of oral hygiene. Your teeth are exposed to a plethora of different chemicals from the foods and drinks you consume. Over time some of these chemicals can be damaging to your teeth and can result in cavities, a plaque build-up, and other problems. People who wish to practice good oral hygiene should take care of their teeth through brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist’s office. It is also important to recognize what foods and habits may be particularly harmful to the teeth. Avoiding or minimizing exposure to potentially harmful things can help keep your teeth healthy and contribute to good oral health as a whole.
An ice-cold soft drink can be very tempting when you are feeling thirsty. Unfortunately, soft drinks can be quite harmful to your teeth. Soft drinks are fairly acidic beverages and over time the acid can damage the protective layer of enamel around the teeth. Additionally, non-diet soft drinks are high in sugar which can serve as a source of nutrition for the bacteria present in the mouth. When provided with excess sugar, these bacteria will multiply at a higher rate and produce chemicals that can corrode the enamel. Good oral hygiene can offset some of the negative effects of soft drink consumption. Brushing and flossing can help remove residual sugar left in the mouth and neutralize acids left on the surfaces of teeth. In moderation, soft drinks are not necessarily bad. If you do consume soft drinks, try to drink 1 to 2 cans a day at maximum. Drinking less soft drinks and more water can benefit not only your teeth but your overall health as well.
Alcohol is another beverage that can be harmful to your teeth. This is especially true if it is consumed close to bedtime. Like soft drinks, many alcoholic beverages are acidic and high in sugar. These corrosives can cause the enamel to become temporarily softer and more susceptible to mechanical wear which may be caused by brushing. Additionally, brushing may not completely remove all sugars and acids, which can be harmful if allowed to remain in the mouth while you sleep.
Many people want to have pearly white teeth. As a result, tooth whitening has steadily increased in popularity. Whitening is very safe when done properly, but excessive or improper whitening can be harmful. If you chose to whiten your teeth yourself, be sure to follow the directions included with the product. All common tooth whitening products will indicate how often they are safe to use. If you would rather have a tooth whitening procedure, it is advisable to have it done by medical professionals such as your dentist. Salons and similar businesses are increasingly offering tooth whitening services, but their staffs are not necessarily trained or licensed.
Your toothbrush can be a true asset to keeping your teeth healthy. However, improper brushing technique and using poor quality brushes can actually harm your teeth and gums. Brushing too hard can cause your gum line to recede, exposing the root of the teeth. Brushes with overly hard bristles can also cause wear on the teeth and gums. Invest in a high-quality soft brush, which will effectively remove plaque and bacteria without causing harm to your gums and teeth.
Bruxism (teeth grinding) can also harm your teeth and jaw. Many people who suffer from bruxism are not even aware that they grind their teeth. This is because the actual teeth grinding often occurs at night while the person is sleeping. Constant grinding can seriously wear down the teeth and can cause severe jaw pain and stiffness. If you suffer from jaw pain or others inform you that they can hear you grinding your teeth at night, it is a good idea to contact your dentist.
Life can be tough on your teeth. However, by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding unnecessary harm to your teeth, your pearly whites will be strong and healthy for years to come.