Home Lifestyle 7 “Healthy” Mistakes You Don’t Realize Are Ruining Your Teeth

7 “Healthy” Mistakes You Don’t Realize Are Ruining Your Teeth


1.Brushing after you eat

Does your morning routine include grabbing a toothbrush immediately after breakfast? When you consume something acidic, like oranges or tomatoes, the enamel temporarily softens and becomes susceptible to abrasive wear. If you brush your teeth, especially forcefully, you can remove enamel, which will leave your chompers feeling sensitive. It gets worse as you get older, since your gums tend to recede with age and expose more root surface.

If you want to exercise caution, wait approximately 30 minutes to brush. Saliva is a buffering agent and will bring the acidity of the oral environment down, but it takes time. Eating some types of dairy, especially cheddar cheese, can raise the pH inside the mouth and release calcium and other substances that fight plaque; and rinsing your mouth with water can help wash away debris wedged between teeth.

2.Medication which causes dry mouth

You may be diligent about controlling a chronic health condition by taking prescribed medications as directed. Unfortunately, if you’re on any one or more of the hundreds of drugs—including certain antidepressants and pain meds—that have the side effect of reducing saliva flow, your oral health could suffer. Patients on those medications tend to have a dry mouth, so they’re at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, because the saliva isn’t there to physically wash food debris away or buffer acids.

The solution isn’t to stop your medication, unless your doctor can offer an alternative without that side effect. Instead, try sipping water throughout the day. You can increase saliva flow with sugarless gum, mints containing xylitol, or sprays, gels, and tablets designed specifically for dry mouth.

3.Exercising without dental protection

There are many ways physical activity benefits your body. It helps with cardiovascular health, weight control, and mood management, for starters, and it can also improve your brain function. Participating in impact sports such as ice hockey or martial arts, however, can do a number on your teeth if they aren’t properly protected. A custom mouthguard provides a cushion around your teeth in case of an impact to the face. They can be invaluable when there’s a risk of physical contact, whether on the rink or on the basketball court.

When you don’t wear a mouthguard, you see teeth chipping or being knocked out—damage that requires a lot of work to repair.Both changes can have a negative impact on teeth, which suggests that anyone active in sports should practice meticulous oral hygiene and seek regular dental care.

4.Drinking lemon water

Swigging water with fresh lemon juice is said to help digestion, strengthen immunity, and cleanse your body of toxins, among other surprising health benefits. Lemon water may be a popular trend, but acidic fruit juice is a major culprit when it comes to dental erosion from diet. Even though you’re diluting lemon juice with water, you’re still raising the acid level of the mouth. If you sip, and you’re doing that two or three times throughout the day over a prolonged period of time, I’d be concerned.

Delay brushing right away after consuming lemon water, and also try toothpaste for sensitive teeth and brush less forcefully. Drinking quickly is not a full fix, but it’s much better than sipping the tart mixture at length; using a straw may also lessen detrimental effects. Check that the water isn’t too hot, as warmer temperatures intensify the tooth damage. If you’re going to drink the acidic beverage, having a drink of plain, ordinary water soon afterward.

5.Chewing on ice

Ice is free of calories and sugar, will cool you down on a hot day, is usually pH-neutral, and won’t stick to your teeth. Turns out, it has its downsides. Chewing on it damages teeth by causing cracks and fractures in enamel and restorations. Constant exposure to cold temperatures can lead to dentine hypersensitivity.

6.Sipping wine slowly

It’s true that alcohol in moderation may have some benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attack, or stroke. Red wine, in particular, may contain compounds that could boost your heart health. But if spreading out your drinking means you’re nursing a single glass of wine for two hours, your teeth are being constantly compromised.

It’s similar to the problem with lemon water. Sipping wine means an exposure to acid every time a sip is taken. That’s not to say you should chug-a-lug, but do drink water when you’re having a glass of wine, or nibble on a piece of cheese to buffer the acid. And note that not all wines pose the same problems for your teeth. White wine has a higher pH and causes more and faster damage. On the other hand, red can stain your pearly whites. Sparkling water is also acidic and can harm teeth when drunk constantly.

7.Opting for spring water

Certainly, water is a much better go-to beverage than juice and sugary pop—in fact, you should probably stop drinking soda altogether—but if bottled spring water is the only kind you drink, you might be missing out on a potential 25 percent reduction in tooth decay. It’s well proven to reduce tooth decay in both children and adults; it’s cost-effective; and it’s safe.

When you drink fluoridated water, it gets into your system, so your saliva has a low level of fluoride in it that’s constantly benefiting your teeth. It’s especially protective for older people with exposed root surface that’s more vulnerable to decay. Try to drink at least some tap water every day. You can use filters, as long as they’re not the type that removes fluoride. If you’re in a rural area, have your water tested to find out its mineral composition and then adjust as needed.