Did You Know You’re Probably Harming Your Teeth?

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You only get one set of teeth, and fixing them is more expensive than keeping them healthy. So treat your teeth well. Here are some mistakes you might not even be aware of but that you could easily accidentally be making. 

 Photo by George Becker

Brushing Too Hard

If you brush too hard, you can wear down your enamel, make your teeth sensitive, and even cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. Buy a soft-bristled brush and move it in small circles instead of from side to side for the best results that won't do any more damage. If you’re not sure what to do, speak to your dentist; they will be able to offer plenty of advice on exactly how to brush your teeth in the most effective and safe way. 

Eating Too Much Acidic Food

Enamel can be worn away by acidic food and drink as well. The difficulty is that the top layer of teeth, the enamel, cannot be regenerated. You may start to experience discomfort from heat or cold because the nerves underneath it are no longer protected. Regular soda (and diet soda), wine, sports drinks, orange juice, sour gummies, and lemons are all acidic, erosion-causing culprits. There are plenty more as well.  

If you're unable to refrain from indulging in these acidic items, try drinking water or eating cheese to balance your mouth's pH. When drinking acidic beverages, use a straw so that the liquid has less contact with your teeth. 

Using The Wrong Toothpaste

Choose a toothpaste that isn't too abrasive. A "relative dentin abrasion" (RDA) scale is used by the FDA to rate toothpastes. Anything over 100 is considered abrasive, anything over 150 is very abrasive, and anything over 200 is not a good idea at all as it will cause a lot of damage. 

Fluoride-containing toothpaste is also a good idea. The mineral can't make enamel grow back, but it does help make teeth stronger.

Using Your Teeth As A Tool

You might wonder what this means; how can you use your teeth as a tool? The fact is, many of us do it all the time, often without thinking. We might use our teeth to open a bottle or a packet of something, for example. We know we shouldn’t, but since it seems to work well, we keep doing it. The problem is, this is not what teeth were made to do – they should only be used to bite and chew food. 

If you use your teeth to open bottles of nail polish, beer, or anything else, you can cause tiny cracks that might not show up for years. Abusive behavior like this can also break teeth or make fillings fall out.

Not Brushing And Flossing Enough

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. If you don't, you're more likely to get cavities, which, if you don't treat them, can spread into your jaw and cause infections if you don't get them fixed. Keep a container of dental floss in your bag or desk drawer in case you can't get to your toothbrush at work or when you’re generally out and about. That way, you can make sure your teeth are as clean as possible at all times. 


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