While regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are a part of excellent oral health, did you know that some common activities gradually damage your teeth? As a NW Calgary dentist, we sometimes have patients wondering why they continue to experience cavities or staining even with increased dental care efforts.
It’s important to know what some of these habits are so you can limit them or avoid them altogether. Here are five of the top activities that can damage your teeth.
1. Eating sugary food
Sugary foods, like candy, chocolate, dried fruits, and cereal, contain Streptococcus mutant bacteria that produces an acidic layer on the tooth enamel. The result is increased plaque on the teeth, which is the leading cause of cavities and tooth decay.
Your best bet is to avoid sugary foods if you want to maintain healthy teeth. If you know you will be eating sugary food that day, have a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste handy and brush your teeth as soon as possible.
Tobacco is harmful to the teeth and also increases the risk of oral-related cancers and gum disease. Smoking also stains teeth, no matter how diligent you are with your oral hygiene practice. If you want a healthy, white smile for life, quitting smoking is crucial.
A common misconception with oral hygiene is that brushing harder and longer means cleaner teeth. However, overbrushing can weaken enamel or cause gum abrasion. Dentists in NW Calgary teach their patients proper brushing techniques. We recommend:
- Brushing your teeth for no longer than two minutes with just the right amount of pressure.
- Tilt the toothbrush away from your gum line and start with the upper outer surface.
- Brush the lower teeth and finish with chewing surfaces.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
4. Drinking too much wine
This one is unfortunate for all wine lovers, we know, but too much wine swirling around your teeth is harmful. Red and white wines are acidic and can erode your teeth over time. Much like consuming sugary food, limit your intake and have a toothbrush and toothpaste handy.
5. Drinking tea and coffee
Our teeth contain microscopic ridges and pits that hold onto the particles of what we’re eating and drinking. Coffee and tea seep into the enamel and stains our teeth. As dentists in Calgary, we understand that this is a tough one to give up. Many of our patients enjoy their morning cup of coffee or tea and some throughout the day.
Our recommendation is to avoid sipping coffee or tea throughout the entire day. Designate drinking a cup during breakfast or your break and brush your teeth soon after.