11 habits that are not good for your teeth!
Our teeth are one of the most fragile parts of our body: most of the damage done to them can not be reversed and must be repaired by a dentist. Teeth are sensitive to changes in temperature, certain foods and even the slightest pressure during brushing can lead to enamel damage.
In addition to their role in digestion, straight, whiter and healthier teeth are, in many ways, aesthetics, as we instinctively associate beautiful teeth with health. Still, keeping our pearly whites can be difficult and sometimes we can not identify what is causing a tooth problem, whether it be discoloration, cavities or gum problems.
To make things easier for our readers, we’ve made a list of 11 everyday habits that could ruin your smile. I even do some of them, especially drinking coffee and not choosing the right kind of mouthwash.
Drinking vitamins in gums promotes caries
If something tastes sweet, it is probably bad for your teeth, even if it is marketed as something good for you. Yes, we are talking about the large number of vitamins and supplements sold for children and adults in the form of gum.
While these vitamins are fun, colorful and beneficial to your nutritional needs, many dentists point out that they are one of the worst things for oral health since parts of the sweet gum can get trapped between the teeth and provide excellent nutrition for different bacteria, including those that cause cavities and gum disease.
Fortunately, you can easily solve this problem by simply brushing your teeth after chewing the vitamin. Another alternative is, of course, switch to traditional vitamins packed in capsule or pill form.
Gnawing nails affects tooth enamel, teeth and jaw
It’s definitely true that gnawing your nails can cause broken nails, but did you know that this can affect your teeth as well?
In milder cases, gnawing the nails will cause the enamel, the outermost protective coating of your teeth, to break and chip it in, which provides a pathway for bacteria and can promote cavities. In addition, patients’ teeth that constantly gnaw nails can sometimes change over time, which creates an unpleasant gap between the teeth.
In severe cases, nail biting was associated with jaw pain and headaches caused by jaw tension, so this is definitely more serious than we thought.
Eating often in the day increases the risk of cavities
Eating small meals is usually beneficial for weight loss and for general digestive health, but dentists warn that doing it too often can make you more prone to developing cavities.
This is because the food increases the pH level in your mouth and creates a more acidic environment, which stays for another 20 to 30 minutes after you eat until your saliva neutralizes. An acid environment is bad for the teeth as it is attached to the tooth decay.
Drinking sparkling water can make your teeth sensitive
All carbonated drinks, whether soda, sparkling water or sparkling wine can affect your dental health. Although non-sugary beverages can be less harmful than soft drinks, they are even worse for teeth than normal water because it creates an acid environment that leads to demineralization, a process during which the tooth enamel breaks.
The absence or lack of tooth enamel, in turn, can lead to discoloration, blemishes and cavities.
Smoking can stain your teeth and promote cavities
We are all aware of the adverse effects of smoking on respiratory and heart health, but smoking can also be a threat to your oral health, affecting your teeth, mouth and gums. Dentists point out that both soft tissues and teeth can be affected by smoking, with smokers being more likely to have yellow and stained teeth, gum problems and recurrent infections.
Brushing teeth immediately after a meal can fracture the enamel
As we discussed above, your teeth are more vulnerable to damage soon after you eat because of the acid environment in the oral cavity. If you brush your teeth shortly after eating, you are more likely to cause microfractures in the enamel, especially if you have already brushed your teeth very hard.
Instead, wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before brushing your teeth.
Drinking wine and coffee can stain your teeth
Anything able to stain your clothes can also stain your teeth: coffee, wine, soda, tea, balsamic vinegar, fruit juices and even tomato sauce can change the color of your teeth. Dark colored drinks are the first to be blamed, of course.
For example, red wine contains many tannins that, while excellent antioxidants, can stain teeth. Unfortunately, more pigmented drinks are not the only culprits, because even white or rose wine, as well as herbal teas, contain fruit acids that can discolor teeth.
A special mention goes into the water with lemon or other drinks infused with citrus fruits. Although an occasional splash of lemon juice does not affect your teeth, highly acidic drinks like water with lemon, vinegar detox drinks and even tomato juice can deteriorate the enamel of your teeth.
Fortunately, minimizing the damage is easy: just rinse your mouth with water after taking one of these drinks. This will restore the pH and should end up with pigmented ingredients.
Using a mouthwash with alcohol may increase the likelihood of an infection
Many varieties of mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can dry the mouth and gums, eliminate the healthy bacteria that live in the mouth and therefore promotes infection. And while the feeling of dryness may be satisfying at first, this ultimately wreaks havoc.
This does not mean, however, that all mouthwashes are bad, since a good rinse can help to saturate your teeth with fluoride (which helps to fight cavities), as well as keep your breath fresher throughout the day.
To choose the right type, opt for non-alcoholic varieties and those containing xylitol, an ingredient capable of stimulating much-needed saliva production.
Whitening Products May Wear Your Enamel
As with acidic beverages, hard and over-the-counter toothpastes, strips or whitening pastes can damage your enamel, which can make your teeth whiter at first, but will also make them worse in the long run.
This is because, by wearing the enamel, it exposes the next layer of the tooth, the dentin, which, even when healthy, has a yellow coloration. Remineralizing enamel is a very long and difficult process, and your enamel can never be completely restored.
All this does not mean that all products for bleaching are bad but rather that you should be very careful with the products to whiten your teeth especially when you decide to use them without professional supervision.
Storing toothbrushes in a closet or drawer exposes you to infection
Do you store your hidden toothbrushes in a container, drawer, or bathroom cabinet to protect them from all the unpleasant germs that fly in the bathroom? If protection against germs is your biggest concern, you can reconsider your decision, since storing your toothbrush in an enclosed container can lead to more bacteria in your toothbrush.
According to the recommendations of the American Dental Association, you should store your toothbrush in a vertical container so it is exposed to the outdoors. This will allow it to dry freely and minimize bacterial growth because a clean and dry toothbrush equals a healthy mouth and teeth.
Using your teeth as a tool can damage them without your knowing
This last habit is very popular and equally dangerous. Imagine, it’s a hot summer day, you’re thirsty and decide to buy a bottle of water. No matter how hard you try, it just does not open, so you have no choice but to resort to “helping” yourself with your teeth, why not?
Well, this is not a recipe for success, at least when it comes to your teeth. Even if you think nothing has happened to your teeth and you have not seen or felt anything, it could have caused a microfracture that made your teeth much more susceptible to tooth decay and breakage in the future.
Fractures like these can even hurt the jaw or cause problems in the gums. Save a trip to the dentist and use a more appropriate tool, or simply ask for help.