When thinking about tooth care and oral health we’ve heard it all before. From a young age, we are taught to brush and floss our teeth and to visit the dentist. These are the key factors to keeping our oral health in check. There are however many more things we can do to ensure overall oral health. Eating right and keeping an eye out for changes in our mouths are important too. But what about things we can avoid that might be undermining our tooth care? Sometimes we don’t realize how things can impact our oral health in a bad way.
Snacking throughout the day, or grazing is something many of us do. For some it’s an attempt to keep their metabolism going, for others, it’s a habit that is proving hard to break, and for many, it’s a mindless, convenient way to eat. Cutting back on snacking might help with weight loss goals, but your tooth care is another great motivation to break the habit. When you continuously snack throughout the day, especially on sugary foods and drinks, you put yourself at a higher risk for cavities. The longer sugars and food particles sit on the surface of your teeth, the longer bacteria have a chance to grow. The food and sugar attract the bacteria. The bacteria feast on the leftovers, producing acid. These acids then attack the outer shell of the teeth which can lead to many issues such as cavities and gum disease. When there is a consistent source of food and sugar provided from constant snacking, the opportunity for damage increases.
We’ve all done it; chomping on ice is a habit with a bad side effect. That satisfying crunch can do so much harm to your teeth. Dentists across the board recommend not chewing ice when it comes to tooth care. The brittle nature of ice, as well as its cold temperature, is the perfect combination for tooth fractures or injuries. Ice can cause breaks in tooth enamel that are microscopic or big. Both can lead to bigger dental problems over time. Enamel is there to protect teeth and cannot be rebuilt. Resisting the urge to chew ice is a good practice for overall oral health.
These two simple habits can have a big impact on tooth care and oral health. Reducing constant snacking with a healthy, balanced meal plan can help. Adding protein to meals may help you stay fuller longer. When snacking, avoiding excessively sugary foods and drinks is a must. Using a straw when sipping sugar drinks will keep sugar from landing on the surface of teeth. And washing foods down with water helps to rinse tooth surfaces clean throughout the day. Cutting out ice chewing is the best option for tooth care. Let ice melt in your mouth or opt for a crunchy food substitute like apples or carrots to curb the desire. On top of all these things, you can do to maintain your tooth care, visiting your dentist twice a year and brushing and flossing daily are still a must. Take care of your teeth and they will keep you smiling for years to come.