4 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Teeth: The Dos and Don’ts for a Healthy Mouth


By Dr. Alicia Kennedy, DDS

Most dentists will tell you that brushing and flossing is just a part of keeping teeth in good shape. Indeed, daily care plays a huge part in dental maintenance. But when it comes to the longevity of your teeth and their overall strength and health, it’s never been more important to give your pearly whites a fighting chance by avoiding hidden dangers.

The Foods You Eat

Most of us already know that sugar is bad for the teeth. After all, sugar contributes to cavities more than other foods, especially if you eat sticky candies that can easily become suspended between back molars. But when it comes to other foods, did you know that acidic foods can quickly deteriorate your enamel?

Do brush an hour after eating highly acidic foods

Tomatoes, blueberries, grapes, lemons, grapefruit, oranges and even some salad dressings are each high in acidity, and can therefore deteriorate the enamel on your teeth. That’s because acid can eat away at the natural protective qualities of your teeth, leading way for more calories and tooth erosion. But resist the temptation of brushing your teeth immediately after eating acidic foods, when teeth may be particularly soft and enamel can more easily brush away. Instead, wait one hour to brush after eating acidic foods or brush beforehand if you can to protect and prolong the beauty of your teeth.

Don’t Swish Acidic Drinks

Carbonated beverages like soda pop are not only sugary but acidic, too, and can wreak havoc on other otherwise healthy teeth. Avoid swishing with acidic beverages and try using a straw instead of drinking soda pop from a glass.

Using a Poor Toothbrush

A bad toothbrush can actually cause whisper light surface scratching that can lead to a dull-looking surface with continued use.

Do Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

Always replace your toothbrush at least every three months for the best cleaning performance. It’s a good idea to select soft toothbrushes as opposed to rough, stiff bristles that can dull the surface of the tooth.

Don’t Use Your Toothbrush After Mouth Sores or the Flu

It’s a good idea to replace your toothbrush after any mouth sores, colds or flu because toothbrushes can easily harbor bacteria. You don’t want to introduce a dirty toothbrush into your mouth. Always get a new toothbrush after any type of illness.

Biting Objects with Your Teeth

Most likely, you’ve tried to rip open packages, bottles or price tags with your teeth – one of the worst things you can do for your pearly whites, and dangerous, too!

Do resist the temptation

Even though it’s a quick fix, it’s not a good idea to use your teeth for anything besides chewing. If you accidentally crack a tooth, you’ll need to see a dentist and if the nerve is exposed, you may even need to get a root canal.

Don’t bite!

If your tooth breaks or chips, you’ll likely need restorative cosmetic dentistry such as bonding or veneers. Just don’t bite!

Avoiding the Dentist

Brushing and flossing isn’t enough. Regular dental care and checkups are vital at maintaining the overall health and longevity of your teeth. Visit your dentist regularly since regular visits are preventative care essential for the well-being of your mouth.

Do Schedule a Dentist Appointment Every 6 Months

Most individuals should see the dentist every 6 months for optimal preventative care. Your office visit should generally consist of a cleaning, checking of the gums and mouth and close inspection of the tongue to ensure your overall oral health is in top shape. We can catch any issues like cavities, gingivitis, oral lesions or any other dental concern at your office visit.

Don’t Skip Appointments

For the best in dental care and to keep your teeth for the longest possible time, don’t flake on dentist appointments. Get in the habit of visiting the dentist regularly.

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