How to protect your smile from these dental dangers

Our teeth are vulnerable to not only tooth decay and cavities, but from cracking, chipping, and breaking as well. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings will help protect your teeth, but avoiding certain other behaviors can protect teeth as well. Explore some common dangers to your smile here and learn how to avoid damaging your teeth.

 

Many people have the habit of chewing ice cubes, especially during the hot summer months. This habit can cause our teeth to break or chip. Ice can also cause gum injuries. Professionals recommend instead that you let the ice melt in your mouth like hard candy. Intense cravings for ice and constant chewing of ice can indicate a bigger health problem. It may be a sign of iron deficiency anemia. Let your dentist know if you have these constant cravings so you can be tested for this very common deficiency.

Do not open bottles or any other packaging with your teeth. While this seems like common sense, it is a regular cause of tooth injury. Metal bottle lids are much harder than the surface of your teeth. Opening a bottle with your teeth can lead to broken, chipped, or generally damaged teeth. It can also lead to erosion of tooth enamel.

Cracked and fractured teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss and can be easily prevented by simply using a bottle opener.

Avoid combatting summertime dehydration with sugary sports drinks. These drinks can cause cavities and stain teeth. Athletes can be prone to tooth decay because the sugar in sports drinks sticks to teeth more than saliva and they promote acid production. This increased acid production results in more oral bacteria which leads to tooth decay. Sports drinks also contain acid which weakens teeth. Try to avoid sipping sports drinks because this continually exposes teeth to sugar and acid and increases the risk of cavities. The sugar sticks to the teeth more than your saliva does. This results in continued and prolonged exposure to the sugar and weakens and damages the teeth. Diet soda may seem like a good alternative to regular soda because it doesn’t contain as much sugar to damage teeth. However, diet soda can contain phosphoric acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid which damage teeth as well. The same amount of damage is done by diet drinks as regular soft drinks. Choose water or milk instead to lower the chance of damage to your teeth by sugar and acid.

Avoiding these dangers to your teeth can help prevent the need for extensive dental work in the future.

Replacing missing or damaged teeth can be extremely painful and expensive. Avoid this by not using your teeth as scissors or bottle openers. Drink plenty of water and milk and avoid sugary soft drinks and sports drinks. Diet soda is not a good alternative because of the acid it may contain. Let ice cubes melt in your mouth to cool you down on a hot day instead of crunching into them. These precautions can keep your smile healthy for years to come.