This four-part article series covers the many habits - some innocent, some not-so innocent - that could be destroying your teeth and oral health, leading to the need for dental implants.
Welcome back to our four-part article series in which dental implants specialists in New Jersey explain the top habits, behaviors and addictions that could be wrecking the health of your pearly whites. In our previous article post, the third installment of the series, we discussed the dangers of teeth grinding or “Bruxism” and how sticky, gummy candies can lead to a higher incidence of tooth decay and cavities. In this final article, we shall address some of the other habits and indulgences you should avoid to keep your teeth in excellent lifelong condition.
Teeth-Wrecking Habit # 8: Sugar-Pumped Thirst Quenchers
There’s nothing like an ice-cold soda on a hot day, but busting your thirst with soda, fruit juice and energy drinks is terrible for your teeth! These should be seen as treats and not as the standard of thirst quenching. Not only are they packed with sugar, which encourages bacterial activity in your mouth; they’re also very acidic and this softens and erodes away dental enamel. If you’re thirsty, your first option should be to reach for good old H2O!
Teeth-Wrecking Habit # 9: Not Flossing
Flossing is, without a doubt, a chore... but it is an absolute necessity for keeping your teeth clean. An oral hygiene routine without flossing is like taking a shower without scrubbing the nooks and crannies (i.e. your armpits): you simply aren’t cleaning effectively! You should floss your teeth every day, preferably before you go to bed at night or else you are leaving all that food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth. In the long term, you’re leaving yourself at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease, not to mention bad breath!
Teeth-Wrecking Habit # 10: Using Your Teeth as Tools
Similar to chewing ice (discussed in Part 1 of this series), your teeth were not designed to be used as tools for tearing packaging, forcing open containers and other related activities. Your dental enamel - when pitted against anything harder than food - can lose and the consequences (cracks, chips, fractures) definitely aren’t worth getting that stubborn Tupperware open, even if there is chocolate inside.
Teeth-Wrecking Habit # 11: Excessive Alcohol Drinking
Alcohol is not the best hydrocarbon to put in your body and as fun as a couple of glasses of wine can end up being, you do need to appreciate the damage it or any other alcoholic beverage can do to your teeth, especially if indulged in regularly. Alcohol causes “dry mouth”, which encourages bacteria to flourish (saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against bacteria). Alcoholic beverages also tend to be high in sugar and acid, which we’ve established are not good for the health of your teeth and gums. Then there are the indirect links alcohol shares with poor oral health... those who drink heavily seldom take the time to brush carefully and floss before they go to bed at night. You also tend to lean towards starchier, fattier foods and other bad habits, such as smoking.
If you find that asking you to give up that dinner-time glass of wine is simply too much to do, you certainly can restrict how much booze you drink and how frequently you drink it. Also take proper care of your teeth, avoid social smoking and keep your dinner choices healthy. No matter how tired and, er, “impaired” your judgment is when you get home... brush and floss your teeth! Or you may find yourself needing new teeth at some imminent stage in your life.