Maintaining good oral health is important for our well-being. You probably were told since childhood that you should clean your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist regularly. However, it is not enough and there are many factors that can affect your teeth and gums. In this article, we gathered seven common things that can damage your oral health.
1. Sports drinks
Over the past decade, sports drinks have become more popular. However, they are not very good for your teeth. Scientific studies have shown that the pH level in many sports drinks can erode the teeth enamel because of the high concentration of acidic components that wash off the enamel. In addition, these drinks often contain a lot of sugar, which acts as “food” for acid-forming bacteria. These bacteria penetrate the cracks and crevices of the teeth that lead to tooth decay.
Smoking makes your teeth yellow, but it can be much more harmful than that. Any form of tobacco can damage your teeth and gums in many ways. It can cause cancer of the throat, lungs, and mouth cancer. In addition, tobacco tar forms a sticky film on the teeth that contains bacteria that promote acid production and create irritating toxins that lead to gum inflammation and tooth decay.
People who are fond of wine should know that wine can damage their tooth enamel. The acidity of the wine can destroy the tooth structure. Moreover, both red and white wine can enhance tooth staining. However, you don’t have to give up a glass of wine to save your smile. Enamel erosion develops when drinkers maintained constant contact of wine with enamel. Instead, take small sips and rinse with plain water when you are finished drinking.
It is important to maintain good oral health when you are pregnant because some studies found the relationship between untreated gum disease and premature childbirth or low birth weight babies. Fluctuations in hormone levels during pregnancy (especially an increase in estrogen and progesterone) can cause gum disease, which can lead to gingivitis (red, swollen, tender gums that are more likely to bleed) and put you at risk for infection. If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or rub your teeth with a paste of baking soda and water to neutralize the acid caused by vomiting, as this can lead to tooth decay.
5. Diet pills
Despite the fact that diet pills may quickly cut your waist, they can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay. As well as many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, diet pills reduce salivary flow that can cause dry mouth and puts you at risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and discomfort. You should know that only a balanced nutrition and exercise can be considered the safest way to lose weight and protect your smile at the same time.
6. Teeth grinding
Teeth grinding (bruxism) can damage your jaw, cause painful sensations, and even change the look of your face. People who have healthy teeth and gums can grind their teeth so often and so hard that over time they erase the tooth enamel. This can result in chipping and increased sensitivity. Stress and anger can intensify teeth grinding at night. Finding ways to relieve this effect can help, but it is also important to visit your family dentist who can recommend solutions such as a special night guard.
7. Citrus and acidic food
Despite the fact that lemons, grapefruits, and citrus juices don’t directly cause tooth decay, they contain acids that can erode tooth enamel, weaken the tooth and make it predisposed to tooth decay. After consuming acidic foods and drinks, it is recommended to avoid toothbrushing for at least 30 minutes. You can instead rinse your mouth with water or chew gum without sugar. You can also consider xylitol, a natural sweetener that is found in plants and fruits. Xylitol in chewing gum, mint and sugar-free toothpaste can inhibit the formation of bacteria in the oral cavity. Dentists often recommend that patients chew at least two pieces of such gum a day if they have a high risk of tooth decay.