Sometimes it seems like society is obsessed with losses and gains. From products and diets designed to help you lose fat to celebrity fitness coaches encouraging muscle and strength gains, our bodies are a battleground for picking up and dropping different things they contain naturally. Enamel is the protective covering your teeth, and while muscle and fat can come and go over time, your tooth enamel doesn’t enjoy the same elasticity, which is why it’s so important to care for what you’ve got. Unfortunately, there are many ways that some seemingly innocent habits can cause our enamel to wear down, permanently damaging our teeth and making them more susceptible to decay. To see if you’re causing undue stress to this important oral component, read on to learn a bit more about how some everyday habits may be detrimental to your enamel health!
Your teeth aren’t tools.
We’ve all been in a situation where we struggled to open a package or remove a tag from a new shirt, and suddenly our teeth become tools to help us pry something apart. As harmless as this may seem in the moment, using your teeth for anything other than chewing can cause them to chip or crack, so it’s definitely time to retire your old party trick of opening beer bottles with your mouth.
Soda isn’t doing you any favors.
It seems like there’s been a never-ending slew of studies coming out recently about the negative health effects of both regular and diet soda, but did you know these drinks aren’t just bad for your waistline? The acidity in sodas—both regular and diet—can cause our enamel to erode when consumed in larger quantities. Add to this the high amount of sugar in regular soda, and overall the oral implications are enough to make anyone shun the fizzy stuff. Consider switching to a naturally flavored carbonated water which is much less acidic and contains no sugars or artificial sweeteners.
You can have too much of a good thing when it comes to brushing.
While it may seem instinctual to brush your teeth with a firm, hard stroke, brushing too forcefully can actually damage your enamel and cause your gums to recede. Additionally, using a toothbrush with firm bristles can wear down enamel and lead to increased tooth decay. To avoid damaging your enamel while brushing, opt for a medium- or soft-bristled brush and use gentle, light strokes to clear away plaque and debris.
Protecting our enamel is one of many things to be diligent about when it comes to oral health. Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, brushing twice daily, and flossing are the first steps to keeping your teeth in tip top shape, but it’s important to remember how other actions impact your oral health as well.
If you have questions about how your daily habits may be influencing your mouth’s hygiene, or if you’d like to schedule a checkup, contact our dentist in Yorkville, Lake Zurich, or Hyde Park to schedule your next appointment today!