Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth healthy. You should also talk to your dentist to see what else you can do to prevent tooth decay to keep a bright and healthy smile!
Brushing too hard
Brushing your teeth vigorously can wear away your enamel. When your enamel wears off, it can cause extreme sensitivity to cold and hot foods and even cause gum recession. When choosing a toothbrush, purchase one with soft bristles. When brushing your teeth, move your toothbrush in a circular motion versus side to side.
Eating large amounts of acidic foods
Acidic foods also can wear away the enamel on your teeth. The enamel is the protective top layer that protects the teeth but cannot grow back once damaged. The nerves are no longer protected causing extreme sensitivity to cold and hot foods. Try to limit or avoid these foods and drinks in your diet: soda, orange juice, wine, sports drinks, sour gummy candies and lemons. If you cannot seem to cut these foods and drinks out of your life, try neutralizing the acidity by drinking water or eating cheese or use a straw to keep the drinks from directly touching your teeth as frequently.
Whitening your teeth too frequently
It’s completely normal to want white teeth. With age, our teeth get darker, but you shouldn’t go too crazy with whitening products. Bleaching your teeth too often can also eat away the enamel on your teeth. The acid can eventually erode the mineral content in your teeth causing them to be sensitive or even in extreme cases, break down over time. Over the counter whitening systems are much milder than in-office bleaching. Keep in mind that the normal color of teeth is ivory, not stark white!
Using a cold drink to help consume hot food
When you take a bite of hot food, your enamel expands. When you drink a cold drink right after, it causes contractions- vertical hair-thin cracks in the enamel that can cause tooth breakage and stains. Your teeth contract and expand when the temperature changes. When it happens too quickly, your teeth are in trouble.
Choosing the wrong toothpaste
Pick a toothpaste that isn’t super aggressive. The FDA has a way of rating toothpaste by using a scale of RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasion). If a toothpaste is above 100, the FDA believes it is abrasive, if it is over 150 it is considered highly abrasive and over 200 is not recommended whatsoever. For a realistic example, Colgate Total is rated a 70, but Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste is rated 145! Even Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM is 168 on the RDA scale! Toothpaste cannot regrow enamel but the right choice in toothpaste can be used to protect your enamel!
Using your teeth as a device
A lot of people don’t even realize when they are doing this, but teeth are meant for food and drinks, not to bite nails, open candy wrappers and beer bottles, you can cause tiny micro fractures that can come back to haunt you. Abusing your teeth like that cause also cause your teeth to break apart immediately or cause your fillings to come out.
Not brushing and flossing every day
The suggested amount of brushing time is two minutes a day, twice a day. If you do anything less, you are extremely likely to get cavities that can cause further damage like infections in the jaw. If you are at work or somewhere else you can’t brush your teeth, keep dental floss with you. Floss first if that’s all that is possible at the time.
To maintain your teeth healthy visit your trusted Livermore Hills Dentist at least twice a year to get an exam and checkup. Prevent your teeth from being ruined by maintaining your dental hygiene and eating adequate foods to support your dental health.