I’m Chesterfield Dentist Jennifer Wheeler DMD and today I’m going to talk about the best ways to ruin your teeth (as opposed to talking about how to keep your teeth healthy.
Yep, that’s right. We’re going to list the top five most enamel¬-destroying, best way to run your teeth habits you have.
Best of all, it’s likely that you aren’t aware of these tooth-killers and may have even seen them as simply benign (or worse) or even best practices.
Prepare to have your world turned upside down…
We’ve all been told, time and time again (to an almost unbearable extent), that drinking fizzy drinks is one of the best ways to ruin your teeth.
I’m not going to argue against the fact. But most of us have been told (or mistakenly believe) that alcohol doesn’t present a problem for the health and beauty of our pearly whites.
NEWS FLASH: Alcoholic drinks are often highly acidic. Wine is particularly bad, as it comes from grapes, which are acidic fruits. That’s bad for news for wine connoisseurs, who tend to enjoy swirling the drink in their mouths.
We also heard on the grape vine that Italian wine is better for your teeth than French wine, apparently because their grapes are less acidic.
And if you’re one of those folks who tends to overdo it and find that you’re not keeping your wine down (in your belly) … consider this:
Vomiting brings that acidic wine back across your teeth and it’s accompanied by a ton of hydrochloric acid, which is highly, um, acidic.
So drinking alcohol is one of the best ways to ruin your teeth the choice is simple: If you want to protect your teeth, you might want to consider curbing your wild side.
If you swim in a pool often, you may find that you’re doing harm to your teeth. The chemicals that are put into swimming pools, particularly chlorine, are linked to enamel erosion.
Both the American Journal of Dentistry and The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association report that swimming in a pool with a high chlorine content for just 3¬4 weeks can cause a rapid increase in dental erosion and sensitivity.
If you accidentally swallow the water, you might find that you’re exposing your teeth to harmful, chemical ¬choked water.
My expert advice?
Keep your mouth closed at all times, or swim in the sea.
I make it a habit to tell our General Dentistry patients that fruit is extremely acidic food, and is particularly harmful to teeth. It’s packed full of sugar which bacteria in turn feeds on, producing acid as waste.
That acid then leads to erosion.
This leaves people in a bit of a sticky situation.
Your chiropractor or family physician is telling you to have five a day, but your dentist is saying the opposite.
So, my advice is to try and group your fruit consumption into sessions in order to minimize the adverse effects.
In addition, I often tell my Cosmetic Dentistry patients that drinking water and eating foods with neutralizing qualities, such as cheese, can help reduce the negative implications on your teeth.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a fair compromise on both sides.
It’s most people’s habit to brush after eating. It’s a routine that’s been drilled into you from a young age, and it just feels like the right time to do it.
Contrary to this, brushing your teeth straight after eating a meal can damage your teeth.
It’s actually one of the most common ways people go wrong. When you consume food, the acid weakens the enamel on your teeth, and so cleaning your teeth might result in brushing away more than you bargained for.
You should brush either right before eating, or a good hour after eating.
For most, brushing before breakfast is more practical, as few have time to hang around for an hour before leaving for work.
The evenings are a lot easier for most, as brushing 1¬2 hours after eating is quite feasible.
When taking medication, your mouth becomes more dry.
I find that a good percentage of our patients who come in for Restorative Dentistry procedures frequently experience that cottonmouth feeling.
Well, that’s the feeling you get when all the saliva in your mouth dries up, and it can be potentially hazardous as it leaves your teeth more susceptible to enamel erosion.
The result is potential cavities and gum problems. If you’re taking medication on a regularly basis, you may consider asking your doctor for a medication that encourages the product of saliva.
If they’re unable to provide this, make sure you keep a bottle of water on you at all times to keep your mouth hydrated.
If you’d like to talk with Dr. Wheeler about your oral health or have specific questions about your teeth, I invite you to call our office at 314-576-3737 today.