Brushing your teeth is the obvious route to good oral health but there are many people with bad habits damaging their teeth in the process.
So says Matt Lawler, acclaimed practice principal at Peelhouse Dental Care in Widnes, Cheshire.
"It’s about looking out for the less-obvious things you can do to keep your pearly whites healthy and happy. Ultimately, it’s about effectively managing bacteria.
“The hundreds of bacteria in your mouth use sugar as food and produce acid that eats away at the enamel. Thankfully, your saliva acts as a natural irrigation system washing most of it away.
“However, anything you do that increases the amount of sugar or acid in your mouth or that dries your mouth out (snoring and mouth breathing at night are just two) can damage to your teeth. It can also give you bad breath!”
Matt selects seven, perhaps surprising sources of tooth damage and how to avoid them:
Avoid mouth breathing where possible and take plenty of water to prevent the build up of acid. Also wear a mouth guard if you’re lifting heavy weights to prevent teeth clenching.
Anyone who wakes up with a dry mouth at night knows how that feels. Not only could you have sleep apnea if you are a heavy snorer but you are also seriously damaging your teeth! Keep them protected by breathing through your nose and don't forget about grinding! If you wake up with aching jaw muscles, you just might be a tooth-grinder. Ask your dentist about a night guard.
Let your dentist know about any medications you're taking, whether prescription or over-the-counter because so many dry your mouth.
You’re sipping your favourite cold drink and cant resist chewing on the ice. Don’t! Chewing on ice can damage and even break teeth! Obvious perhaps but you’d be surprised at how many people who suffer as a result.
All the more popular in 2017 but you basically have a foreign substance in your mouth and it can crack or even break your teeth if you're not careful. It's especially dangerous if that piercing is closer to the tip of your tongue, where it might be constantly clacking against the back of your front teeth.
Wearing a mouth guard-while exercising is recommended, especially during an intense workout because you can crack a tooth in the process.
Untreated acid reflux means stomach acid can eventually make its way into your mouth. Pitting in your teeth as it wears away the enamel, usually in the back molars is common. A dentist may refer you to a specialist consultant or initially, encourage you to pursue a more alkaline diet in seeking to eradicate the problem.
"Its about looking out for the less-obvious things you can do to keep your pearly whites healthy and happy. Ultimately, its about effectively managing bacteria."
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