As long as your brushing every day and nothing hurts, your teeth are fine – right? Not necessarily. There are many dental health issues that fester beneath the surface and develop slowly over time. Enamel erosion is a prime example. Many patients are unaware that they are harming this outer layer of their teeth. In fact, there are some surprising everyday habits that can damage your smile. Are you guilty of the following?
#1 Eating Too Much Acidic Foods
If you have a deep love for citrus fruits, you may be slowly wearing down your enamel with each orange or lemon that you consume. Don’t forget about your beverages, as coffee, orange juice and sports drinks can register a pH that is harmful to your teeth as well. If you must bathe your teeth is these acids, make sure you rinse with water afterwards.
#2 Brushing Too Soon or Too Hard
Could there really be restrictions on brushing your teeth? In certain cases, yes! If you’ve recently consumed something acidic, you need to wait at least 30 min before you pick up your toothbrush. This gives the acids in your mouth a chance to rinse away and your enamel to remineralize before you start scrubbing the enamel of your teeth. Speaking of scrubbing, harder is not always better when it comes to cleaning your teeth. In fact, you could wear down your tooth enamel and damage your gums if you apply too much force and pressure to your pearly whites. Food debris, bacteria and even plaque can be easily removed with gentle to moderate brushing strokes.
#3 Drinking Bottled Water
There are some habits that are considered ultra-healthy for your body, but not necessarily great for your teeth. Bottled water is one of them. The issue with bottled water is that it has undergone a filtration process, which means it doesn’t contain fluoride and other vital minerals that protect and strengthen your teeth. Try to mix up your bottled water habit with some tap water to boost your smile health.
#4 Grinding or Clenching During Sleep
It is not uncommon for your daytime stress to lash out on your teeth during your nighttime sleep. Stress and other factors can cause patients to grind or clench their teeth. While your bed partner may need to make you aware of your habit, bruxism creates a host of issues ranging from worn down teeth and jaw problems to tension headaches and more.
#5 Using a Toothpick After Meals
Do you regularly grab a toothpick on the way out of a restaurant? Using a toothpick as dental floss to remove wedged food can be detrimental to your dental health. Not only can the sharp edges damage your gums, but this wooden tool can scrape away tooth enamel along with that kernel of corn. Try to keep a roll of floss handy instead.
For more habits that can harm your smile, please contact Smile Design Studio. We love helping patients protect their teeth and avoid unexpected dental problems in between office visits.