7 Unexpected Ways You’re Causing Tooth Decay

Fact: even if you have good dental hygiene, such as brushing your teeth daily, flossing, and regularly visiting the family dentist, you may still have some bad habits that may be damaging your teeth. If your dentists are still finding cavities and eroded enamel, even after proper care, you may be indulging in one of these surprising causes of tooth decay.

Sports Drinks

Many sports drinks, such as Powerade and Gatorade, list sugar as the main ingredient. Just as you would avoid soda and juice to protect your teeth, be sure to drink energy drinks in moderation or drink water instead.

Energy Drinks

You may think that you can protect your teeth by drinking Rockstar, Monster, and Redbull instead of coffee, but beware: energy drinks result in high levels of enamel loss. In fact, studies show that energy drinks are twice as bad for your teeth as sports drinks.

Chewing Ice

Chewing may seem like a harmless way to munch–after all, it doesn’t have any calories, fat, sugar, or cholesterol, and the dentist always recommends drinking more water. However, crunching ice can cause serious damage to your enamel, and can result in a dental emergency if you aren’t careful.

Tongue Piercings

Tongue piercings are open sores in the mouth, meaning that they can increase the risk of infection. Metal rubbing against your gums or teeth can also cause damage, either in the form of gum damage (which can result in tooth decay and tooth loss) or a cracked tooth if you accidentally bite down on a stud.

White Wine

Many people are aware that red wine can cause tooth staining. If you were planning to switch to white wine to protect your teeth, though, think again. White wine has acids that weaken enamel and make it porous, meaning that your teeth are vulnerable to staining from other drinks, such as coffee and tea.

Mixing Hot and Cold

According to Leslie Renee Townsend of the Jefferson Dental Clinics in Dallas, hot foods and liquids expand your enamel, while cold foods and liquids contract enamel. If you’ve noticed an exaggerated sensitivity while eating a hot brownie with ice cream, it’s because your teeth are going between these extremes, which can increase your risk for tooth decay and cracking.


Most of us are aware of the damaging effects of cigarettes, and some may believe that vaping is a safe alternative. Nicotine is still nicotine, though, and prolonged smoking restricts blood flow to the gums, resulting in decreased bone and tissue density in the mouth.

Adjusting a few habits to protect your teeth can save your from discomfort and emergency visits to the dentist later on. While you don’t have to give up all of your favorite things completely, such as wine or your beloved tongue piercing, as your dentist about s safe ways to indulge without damaging your teeth.

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