You brush every day, floss at least once a day, and keep up with regular visits to my dental office in Garden City. You’re doing all the right things to keep your mouth healthy. But are you also doing some things that can be hurting your teeth?
There are a bunch of surprising, everyday habits that seem completely normal, and sometimes even good for you, that can actually be harmful to your oral health. The first step in avoiding these dangerous activities and getting a stronger, healthier smile is knowing what’s bad for your grin.
Brushing Side to Side
Yes, brushing your teeth can actually be harmful if you do it incorrectly. The ideal way to brush is in gentle circles to avoid damage to the enamel. If you brush side to side, you place a lot of pressure on the teeth. This type of brushing may scratch enamel and leave you at increased risk for decay.
While this summer favorite is refreshing, its combination of acid and sugar is particularly bad for teeth. Cavities are most responsive to foods high in sugar and acidity. Sugar feeds the bacteria, acid eats away at enamel, and the chance for decay increases. If you still want the refreshing boost of lemons, try lemon slices in water. It’s still acidic, but without sugar, the danger is decreased.
Workouts that incorporate some kind of cardiovascular exercise are great for your heart and your body. But prolonged periods of cardio-intense workouts may actually put your mouth at risk. A recent German study linked endurance exercise with increased erosion, mainly due to decreased saliva production. Saliva naturally helps neutralize acids in the mouth and wash away bacteria. Without it, your teeth are exposed to these damaging elements. Chewing sugar-free gum during exercise can help keep saliva production active, thus reducing acid and bacteria.
We strive to make every appointment at my Garden City dental office problem free, and your everyday choices go a long way in helping us achieve that goal. If you find yourself partaking in any of these potentially smile-damaging habits, make a conscious effort to stop or take action to counteract any damage. If you’d like help, give us a call. That’s what we’re here for.
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