You already know that you need to brush your teeth every day and you need to floss and use mouthwash to not only keep your teeth healthy but also to keep them white and beautiful. If you don’t take care of this basic oral hygiene, the food and drinks you consume can leave behind residue that will decay the teeth, stain them, or cause other problems.
However, you may not realize that some things you are eating and drinking can damage your teeth, even if you are fastidious about your daily oral hygiene. Here are a few things you need to be aware of if you want to keep your teeth looking their best:
Drugs and Alcohol
Alcohol is a lot more socially acceptable than using drugs, but many people enjoy both recreationally. Both can also do serious damage to your teeth. All alcohol contains sugar, and sugar is the mortal enemy of your teeth. It accelerates the rate of decay, and it can contribute to gum disease. Plus, alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated, which decreases the flow of saliva. Without the proper amount of saliva washing your teeth clean, the sugar from the alcohol coats your teeth and lingers longer, causing more damage.
Drug use can stain or rot your teeth. The severity of the damage depends on what kind of drugs you use and how long you use them. If you are using drugs often enough to notice the damage, it’s likely you need more than dental help. If you are abusing drugs or alcohol, you need to seek help from a professional treatment facility like Harris House STL. But even if you are a sometimes user, you may want to pay close attention to your habits, and you definitely want to take extra good care of your teeth.
Coffee, Tea, and Soda
Coffee, tea, and soda all have strong ingredients that can stain your teeth and erode enamel. Even if you have just a cup of coffee every morning or a mug of tea after dinner each night, your teeth can become yellow or even brown over time. Ditto for dark sodas like Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, or Root Beer. Don’t think that you can escape these side effects with all-natural beverages instead.
If you can’t cut back on these beverages, make sure you brush after each time that you imbibe. You may need to use whitening products, as well, to keep your pearly whites as pearly as possible. If you cannot brush after you drink, then at least drink water to get the liquid off your teeth. You may also chew a sugar-free gum.
The risk to your teeth is greater if you put sugar or honey in your coffee or tea, or if you drink regular soda with sugar. Not only do you put your teeth at great risk of staining, but you also increase the risk of decay from the sugar. Brushing your teeth after each drink becomes even more important.
You can almost always spot a smoker by their teeth. Often, smokers get yellow or even brown teeth. Sometimes, the whole surface has a slight tint, and sometimes, the discoloration is just around the edges of the teeth. Sometimes, the teeth become gray on the surface or around the edges. Over time, the teeth will also decay and experience serious problems.
Brushing after each cigarette can help you minimize the damage, but there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. The very best thing you can do to protect your teeth if you are a smoker is to quit smoking. Not only will you save your teeth (and your breath), but you’ll also save your health. Talk to your doctor about prescription medications or other aides that can help you quit.
A great number of things can influence the way your teeth look, including health conditions like diabetes and poor sleep habits. But your daily oral hygiene and the things that you put in your mouth every day have the biggest influence of all. It’s important that you cut out some of these damaging things from your diet, in addition to sticking to good tooth brushing and regular trips to the dentist. Know that your dentist can only do so much to clean and protect your teeth. Taking proactive measures like eliminating these damaging substances from your life can help improve your health and preserve the youthful, white, and healthy smile that you love.