When it comes to taking care of ourselves, most of us feel like we do a pretty good job. We watch our weight, drink plenty of water, and choose fruit over a bag of potato chips. Over time, we begin to see the results of our efforts. However, your family dentist will tell you that taking care of your smile is just as important as the rest of your body.
Here are five things you may be doing on a regular basis that are jeopardizing your dental health.
1. Drinking sports drinks
If you or your school athletes are trying to improve physical health, refueling with sports drinks on the daily can be tempting. This tends to be a problem for many people because these beverages can do more harm than sodas.
Your family dentist will tell you that keeping your hydration level isn’t just ideal for your muscles; it’s ideal for your teeth and gums. If you or your child turn to a sports drink now and then, drink it all at once and rinse your mouth out with water when you’re done.
2. Using teeth to open things
We’re all guilty of using our teeth to occasionally open things if we don’t have a bottle opener or pair of scissors handy, but it’s not good for them. Your family dentist will tell you that using your teeth to rip open packages or bottles can lead to a fracture, which means you’ll end up in their chair. If you use a back tooth while trying to pry something open, you could damage a filling or crown.
3. Chewing ice
Crunching on ice cubes can be satisfying, especially during the hot Iowa summer. If you’re headed out of Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, or Marion for the day to the Iowa State Fair, keep this in mind: chewing on ice is horrible for your teeth!
The density of the ice can chip away at the enamel on your teeth or cause breakage. If you have several teeth with fillings you’re taking a big risk.
4. Eating and drinking excess citrus
Incorporating healthy amounts of fruit into your diet is fabulous, however, the acidity in citrus fruits and drinks can cause tooth decay. Over time, the simple squeeze of a lemon or line that makes your water taste good can damage your smile. The best thing to do is drink plain water. If you have to have the flavoring, use a straw. You can also ask your dentist if you have any concerns about specific foods.
Juicing can be a rewarding experience, especially since the stuff is chock-full of healthy nutrients and vitamins. In addition to all of those healthy ingredients, fruit-based juices have a high sugar content (some may have more than smoothies and soft drinks). This means that drinking a juice is the same thing as covering your teeth in chocolate. If you’re juicing, make sure to use a straw and rinse your mouth out with water when you’re done.
Joyner Dental Arts specializes in general dentistry for the whole family. If you’re in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or Marion areas and are looking for a new dentist, give us a call. We’re happy to accepted new patients and want you to have a smile that you’re proud of. Call today to schedule your appointment.