When we talk about things that cause tooth damage, one of the first things that come to patients’ minds is sugar. And they’re right. But everyone at my Alexandria dental office wants to shed some light on some lesser known tooth-damaging things that may come as a surprise.
- Ice. Ice is made of water. Water is good for teeth. So what makes ice the top thing on our list? The texture and the fact that many people chew or crunch ice cubes. This can lead to cracks, chips, or broken teeth.
- Sports Drinks. While refreshing and the drink of choice for many, most are loaded with sugar. And as we all know, sugar leads to cavities. How? Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid in the process. Acid weakens enamel and makes it super easy for bacteria to nestle into teeth, creating a cavity.
- Cough Drops. We don’t expect you to never use a cough drop ever again. They’re necessary to relieve the annoying, consistent coughs that often come with colds or allergies. But we do encourage you to use them sporadically. Sugar is used to make them taste better, and we all know what sugar does to teeth.
- Pencils. Or pens. Or fingernails. Or basically anything that’s not meant for the mouth. Objects like pens and pencils are hard and can cause similar damage as ice. If you must chew on something, choose a gum with Xylitol instead.
- Snacking. Or more specifically, constant snacking. That handful of almonds you eat between lunch and dinner is just fine, it’s when you snack throughout the day when we become concerned. More snacking means more food particles, and more food particles means more bacteria and a greater chance for cavities.
By trying to follow the guidelines above, you’re helping keep your smile healthy. But there’s even more we encourage you to do (we know, we’re asking a lot). Make sure you brush and floss everyday to keep your teeth clean in between visits to your dentist in Alexandria. And speaking of visits, maintaining regular check ups at least every six months helps really clean your teeth and gums, and allows early diagnosis of any concerns.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a dental checkup, give my Alexandria dental office a call. We’re always welcoming new smiles and would love the opportunity to see yours. Schedule your appointment today!
Welcoming patients from Alexandria, Old Towne, Delray, and Potomac Yard.