You might feel pretty good about how well you take care of your teeth; you brush twice a day, you see your dentist on a regular basis, and you never forget to floss. However, that doesn’t mean your smile is perfectly safe. There are many everyday habits that, sooner or later, could leave you with unsightly chips or stains on your pearly whites. Here are 5 surprising threats to your teeth that you might not be aware of; don’t do these things if you want to avoid extra trips to the dentist!
1. Crunching Ice and Other Hard Foods
Chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, peppermints and other especially hard foods could easily crack or fracture your tooth if you’re not careful. Make sure you’re extremely aware of what you’re putting in your mouth. For example, if you’re eating popcorn out of the bag, feel around carefully for the un-popped kernels before you start chewing them. Also, instead of biting into ice and hard candy, let them melt in your mouth.
2. Drinking Coffee and Other Dark-Colored Beverages
Coffee, wine, sodas and teas are some of the most common culprits when it comes to staining teeth. Over time, the pigments in these dark-colored beverages are caught in the tiny cracks and ridges in your tooth’s enamel, causing them to appear yellower. You can mitigate the damage by using a straw whenever you enjoy these drinks so that they don’t come in contact with the front side of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water afterwards can also help.
3. Physical Trauma When Playing Sports
Playing sports (especially contact sports like football) is one of the most common ways to chip, fracture or even lose some of your teeth. For this reason, you should always wear a mouthguard for physical activities. A custom-fitted mouthguard from your dentist will be more comfortable and provide better protection than a mouthguard you buy at the store.
4. Bad Habits
How often have you used your teeth to open a package? Or started chewing on the tip of your pen? These habits can easily lead to a dental emergency if you’re not careful. Be aware of what you’re putting in your mouth at all times. If you’re having trouble opening something, look for a tool designed to do the job.
5. Tongue Piercings
Thinking of getting your tongue pierced? It might make a statement about your appearance, but it’ll also leave a piece of metal in your mouth to damage your teeth. Avoiding mouth jewelry will help keep your smile in shape.
There are plenty of everyday acts that hurt your teeth, but luckily you can avoid most of them by being self-aware and exercising common sense. Talk to your dentist about your lifestyle and see if there are any other improvements you can make for the sake of your grin!
About the Author
As the son of a dentist, Dr. Cale Beasley knows that preventive care is the key to maintaining a healthy, dazzling smile. At his practice, Littleton Dental Studio, he offers checkups and cleanings that can prevent small oral health problems from becoming major issues; he also offers porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and other cosmetic treatments for chipped or stained teeth. To schedule an appointment or ask about everyday threats to your oral health, you can visit his Littleton practice’s website or call (303) 794-1707.