Our teeth are sturdy little dudes. Day in and day out they’re fighting off bacteria that are trying to start a little decay. They’re hoping you do a little work to help ward off plaque before it turns into tartar. They’re exhibiting intense force when you bite into things like an apple or a handful of almonds.
And what do you do in return? You torture your teeth with tricks such as chewing ice, drinking endless sodas, and other things.
At Implant Dentistry of Florida, we’re your teeth’s biggest cheerleaders. As such, we’d like to see you show your teeth a little more love and quit some of the bad habits. Let’s see how many of these things you do to your teeth.
- Grinding your teeth — Life can be stressful, and we take it out of our teeth by grinding them at night while we’re dreaming about killing our boss. This behavior is called bruxism, and you are grinding your teeth down when you do it. Most people don’t realize they grind their teeth unless they wake up with sore jaws. But Dr. Brown and Dr. Vaughn can see the signs during your exam, and we can get you into a mouthguard to wear at night to protect your teeth.
- Chewing ice — While ice may be sugar-free and no-cal, that doesn’t mean you should be munching on it all the time. Chewing ice can chip or crack your teeth. It also irritates the soft tissue inside the tooth, causing toothaches.
- Sodas — In this country, people are cutting down on soda consumption, but for the wrong reasons. Well, not all wrong. It’s obvious the sugars can lead to dental decay, but sodas also contain phosphoric and citric acids. These are corrosives that eat away at the enamel protecting your teeth.
- Your teeth, the opener — Everyone knows someone who takes great pride in opening bottles with their teeth. While this was an interesting parlor trick in your frat days at UF, you’re best to leave the bottle opening to others. Opening a beer bottle with your teeth is the quickest way to crack them.
- Bottle in the crib — Don’t be lazy and simply leave a bottle in with your baby to get the little guy or gal to fall asleep. The tot may fall asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth, bathing the teeth in sugars overnight. Feed them before bed, and they will calm down.
- Fruit juice — Skip the juice “beverage” and opt for fruit juices that are 100% juice. Yes, you’ll have to leave Punchy and his Hawaiian Punch alone. Why? Because there is often as much sugar in these pseudo-juices as in soda. Once you read the label, you’ll see that these “juices” have all of around 10% juice content. Plus, in certain juices, the acidity is pretty high.
- Snack-o-rama — What’s the big deal eating a few Red Vines followed by a pretzel or two? Well, when you eat a regular meal, your mouth understands it needs to get with saliva production to help eliminate and break down residual particles. But when you snack for brief periods, you don’t produce saliva in the same way. The lack of saliva when you eat a snack means that food bits can stay in your teeth for hours. If you need a snack, opt for something low in sugar and starch, like carrots.
- Cigarette smoking — This one’s a no-brainer. Cigarettes stain your teeth and lead to gum disease. As if that weren’t enough, tobacco also leads to cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. And it’s so 1960. You’re not Don Draper, are you?
OK, we didn’t mean to make you feel bad, but the team at Implant Dentistry of Florida wants you to start taking better care of your chompers. After all, look at all they do for you? Is it time for your regular twice-yearly cleaning and exam? Call us at 321-259-9429 to make your appointment.