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Atkins & Anderson DDS Blog

You may brush your teeth twice a day, floss them every night, and schedule a routine cleaning. These are all habits that protect your oral health. So, give yourself a round of applause or a gold star! But if you want to increase your oral hygiene and further shield your teeth from cavities, you may need to evaluate your other habits. You probably don’t give much thought to your choice of an afternoon snack, weekend beverage, or how you tear into the package on your doorstep. These seemingly harmless habits could cause damage to your teeth.

Harmful Drinks

To prevent dragging yourself to a post-lunch meeting on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend, you go on a hunt for a caffeine boost. You grab a soda and anticipate the burst of energy it will give you. You don’t pause to consider the amounts of sugar in a single serving and the effects it will have on your teeth. But sodas, whether diet or sugar-free, produce an acid in your mouth that eats away at your enamel and leads to tooth decay and cavities. Other beverages such as club soda, fruit juice, sweet tea, and coffee can destroy your tooth enamel over time. Alcoholic drinks, including wine, are high in acidity that can erode your teeth. Alcohol also reduces the amount of saliva your mouth naturally produces. Saliva is a key agent in oral health, removing plaque and decreasing the presence of bacteria. There is a risk to consuming any beverage except water. But if you splurge and drink something other than water, be sure to drink a glass and wash away the sugar and acid found in other beverages.

Damaging Treats

You may be catching on to the fact that sugar is on our "naughty list" and applies to the sugar found in packaged snacks, dried fruit, and desserts. You may need to reconsider your snack habits to take your oral health seriously. Simple changes will go a long way to reducing your risk for tooth decay and cavities. Swap dried fruits for fresh fruit. Avoid hard, sticky candies and gummies—including vitamin gummies. These tend to stick to your teeth, allowing the sugar to sit on your teeth for an extended time. Treat dessert as a treat, not the norm. And commit to rinsing your mouth after you eat something sweet. Choose fresh, whole foods like apples, carrots, celery, and nuts when you want something crunchy. Cheese and yogurt also make delicious, easy-to-grab snacks between meals. Because these foods are rich in phosphorus and calcium, they help repair your tooth enamel and further protect your teeth.

Unnecessary Risks

Are you in the habit of using your teeth to open packages, tear off clothing tags, or pop off bottle caps? These simple actions can cause your teeth to chip. Break this habit immediately to protect your teeth from harm. Smoking or chewing tobacco are dangerous habits for your overall oral health. Nicotine causes your teeth to yellow and can lead to oral cancer. Chewing tobacco comes into direct contact with your gums and stays there for long periods, which can cause gum disease. Habits like grinding or clenching your teeth are harmful to your teeth and gums, so make an appointment with your dentist to discuss remedies for this. Risks such as contact sports and medications that cause dry mouth are also risks that need to be addressed. To give your teeth the best chance to stay healthy, schedule an appointment with Atkins & Anderson, DDS. Our team will go over your daily habits and the risks they play in your oral health. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about your teeth or gums.

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