When it comes to cavities and dental issues, we tend to blame usual suspects, such as sodas, chocolates, and careless brushing habits, however, they are not always at fault.
There are many unexpected or unknown dental culprits that can ruin your smile. As compiled by Cardiff Dental here are tips to protect your pearly whites from these unexpected threats.
Daily Habits that Harm
Opening packaging with your teeth – Opening plastic packaging, prising the lids off bottles, or cutting tape with your teeth can all be harmful to them even causing cracks and chips. Your teeth aren’t tools, so rely on scissors or bottle openers to do the hard work so your teeth don’t have to.
Chewing things – The only thing that should be chewed, is food!
You’d be surprised at how many people think it is safe to chew ice. It’s made of innocent water, after all, and doesn’t contain any sugar or other additives that might harm teeth. But chewing on hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel.
Many people chew on pens or pencils especially when studying or at work. However just like crunching on ice, chewing on a pencil or pen, can crack teeth or cause them to chip.
If you must chew something, chew sugarless gum. Gum increases saliva flow and washes away left over bacteria and re-mineralizes our teeth.
Exercise: Don’t Bite Off More than You Should Chew!
Cardiovascular exercise. A study has discovered that long cardio workouts can harm your dental health. Researchers compared the oral health of endurance athletes with non-exercisers. The comparison showed that the athletes were substantially more likely to have tooth erosion, and the more time they spent training per week, the greater the risk of cavities. This was found to be due to a link between reduced saliva production and tooth decay – so if you are a workout warrior, be sure to practice good dental health outside of the gym, or off the track.
Contact Sports. For some professional athletes, including hockey players, losing a tooth during a game can be considered a rite of passage. For the average athlete, however, tooth loss or other dental damage isn’t a rite of passage; it is an expensive nightmare. The cost of replacing a lost tooth is about 20 times more than the cost of a custom-fitted mouth-guard.
Take a page from Australian WBO Welterweight Champion Jeff Horn (Congratulations from Cardiff Dental!) and if you are going to engage in contact sports, wear a custom-fitted mouth-guard!
Swimming. Swimming is a good low-impact way to get your exercise in. Unfortunately, according to multiple scientific studies, the chlorine used in pool cleaning can damage your teeth. Chlorine can raise your risk for decay, create unsightly stains, and lead to pain and sensitivity.
Children who swim are particularly prone to tooth damage, as the hard edges of pools can knock out teeth and the decks around swimming pools can be slippery. So, swim if you like, but be careful!
Brushing directly after eating. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating can affect your tooth enamel. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you’ve consumed acidic food, you should avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes as acidic foods weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state.
Brushing too vigorously. Vigorous brushing can wear down the enamel on the teeth as well as damage and push back the gums, exposing the root area. Receding gums can also lead to other dental problems such as periodontal disease and cavities on the roots of the teeth and may lead to the need for treatments such as fillings, root canals, and tooth extraction. Dentists estimate that between 10 to 20 percent of the population have damaged their teeth or gums as a result of overbrushing.
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