Your teeth are very strong, but not invincible. Maintaining their integrity will help keep your mouth and teeth healthy allowing you to smile with pride, eat the foods you love, and speak clearly. Daily oral maintenance and visits to your dentist will help ensure dental health, but there are things you may be doing that could endanger your dentition.
- Teeth Grinding – Many individuals grind their teeth without awareness. That is because this is something often started subconsciously during periods of sleep. Anxiety and stress are major factors, but a malocclusion can also lead to grinding.
- Biting Nails – This habit is not only hazardous for your teeth, but you risk infection if jagged nails cut into oral tissues. You can chip teeth, as well as create a change in your bite by repositioning your jaw to bite nails.
- Chewing Ice – Whether you munch on cubes or ice chips, frozen water is very hard and can break or chip your teeth.
- Your Diet – Foods and beverages that are high in sugar, starch, or are acidic can erode your dental enamel weakening the protective tooth covering. Teeth with weakened enamel can be damaged more easily when eating crunchy or harder foods leading to a chipped tooth.
There are actions you can take to fortify your dental enamel, and in doing so help to protect your teeth from chips or breaks. In addition to monitoring what you eat and drink, you can brush every day with a fluoridated toothpaste or gel. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments during your regular dental visits, if needed.
You should stay hydrated, especially if you struggle to produce sufficient saliva to adequately flush your mouth. There are rinses to help promote saliva production; you can chew sugar free gum; or you can suck on sugar free candy.
Enamel reduction or erosion may occur with tobacco use, a diet high in acidic foods and beverages, and some of the actions articulated above. If you experience tooth sensitivity, you need to see your dentist. And since enamel is actually translucent, if your teeth are discolored it could be due to your dentin showing through due to enamel erosion.
Brush and floss every day and visit your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam. Your teeth are needed to support you for life so do all you can to maximize your oral health. If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning, contact our team at Richardson Dentistry today.