Everyone knows that eating too much sugar, and consuming too many acidic foods, can take a toll on your teeth. However, there are things that affect your dental health and oral health that you might not realize. Some animals have the benefit of constantly growing new teeth, or regenerating their existing teeth, but we humans are stuck with the teeth we have once the baby teeth are lost, and the adult teeth come in. In order to protect and maintain healthy teeth for as long as possible, you will want to be aware of some hidden dangers.
While it’s commonly known that cigarettes can cause teeth to become stained, tobacco use in any form can have a negative effect on oral and dental health. Problems range from being simply annoying, to being severe health concerns. Tobacco can have the effect of inducing bad breath, shrinking gums, mouth sores, bone loss, a loss of the sense of taste, and cancer.
Tooth enamel is the hardest material in your body, and yet it can be severely damaged by something you may not even realize that you’re doing. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can happen while you are conscious, but many people also do it in their sleep. Headaches, sensitive teeth, or an aching jaw in the morning may be a clue that you’re grinding your teeth at night. Cracked and chipped teeth are also a potential indication. Be aware that ice, lip and tongue piercings, and even popcorn can do damage to your teeth.
The age-old adage, too much of a good thing is a bad thing, applies here. While a fluoride mouthwash can be effective in preventing tooth decay, and fluoride treatments are sometimes helpful for strengthening young teeth, there is some harm in overdoing it. Children who are eight or younger can develop fluorosis, which stains teeth almost indefinitely.
So what could possibly be wrong with braces? Actually, in many ways, braces are great for dental health. Straight teeth are easier to clean, and having straighter teeth earlier on in life can negate the need for a cosmetic dentist later. However, braces are particularly difficult to clean. Also, we tend to touch our teeth with our tongues, a process which helps to clean the teeth. Having a mouthful of metal not only discourages the natural toothbrush that is your tongue, but it creates areas that are very difficult for a toothbrush and floss to get to.
Regular teeth cleaning and an exam from your family dentist are important to maintaining good oral and dental health, but there are a lot of risks that you need to manage all on your own. Remember that tobacco use, teeth grinding, fluoride, and braces can pose different threats to your health. Awareness and active management of those risks can help you to keep your healthy teeth for much longer. Learn more about this topic here.