The outer layer of your teeth is made of enamel, the strongest substance in your body. However, this layer can decay or be damaged, exposing the inner layers of your teeth. There are a number of things you can do to keep your teeth healthy, including having regular professional dental cleanings.
At Morning Dental in Santa Ana and Hunting Beach, California, we have the tools and treatments to help you keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. Highly skilled dentists Dr. Bao Nguyen and Dr. Michael Floorman provide you with top-quality dental care in a safe and comfortable environment. They help you develop good habits to support your oral health.
What causes damage to your teeth?
The outer layer of your teeth is made of enamel, the strongest material in your body. Under the enamel is a softer layer called dentin that surrounds your nerve. Your teeth are highly susceptible to being damaged from tooth decay, gum disease, and cracks that can expose the inner layers of your teeth.
There are a number of things you can do that can help protect the health of your teeth, as well as certain foods and habits you should avoid.
5 foods and habits to avoid for the health of your teeth
Certain foods should be avoided to protect the health of your teeth, along with habits that can cause damage.
Sugar is bad for your teeth because it feeds bacteria that live in your mouth and on your teeth; these bacteria eat the sugar and produce acid. This acid eats away at your teeth enamel and causes cavities. In addition, some sugary beverages such as soft drinks are also acidic, which make them even worse for your teeth.
Some foods to avoid include: candy, soft drinks, lemonade, cookies, and cakes. While no one is going to avoid these foods all the time, be sure to drink water after consuming them, or even better, brush your teeth to wash off the sugary residue before it turns to sticky plaque and then becomes hard-to-remove tartar.
In addition to causing your teeth to become yellowed from nicotine and causing bad breath, smoking is also bad for teeth health. The chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products decrease the flow of blood to your mouth and gums, which can lead to infections, gum disease, inflammation of your saliva glands, and increased plaque and tartar, which contributes to tooth decay.
If your teeth look or feel discolored or dirty, you may be tempted to brush hard for longer periods in an attempt to make them look cleaner. However, you may be doing more harm than good. Though it’s important for teeth health to brush and floss at least twice a day, brushing too hard can actually damage your teeth and gums. Gentle brushing twice a day should be sufficient to keep your teeth clean in between professional cleanings, so don’t overdo it.
Biting things open
Do you ever use your teeth to rip open packages, or hold items such as pens or tools when both of your hands are full? This is a bad habit that can cause wear on your teeth, and possibly cause cracking. Your teeth are not designed to do this type of work, and you risk damaging them when you develop this habit.
Grinding and clenching
Sometimes when you are focused, are in pain, or while you are sleeping, you may grind or clench your teeth. You may not be aware that you are doing this, but if you have sore teeth or jaws in the morning, you may want to check with your dentist about getting a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding, or during high contact sports. Unchecked clenching and grinding can result in tooth wear, chipping, and cracking.
Although your teeth are made of enamel and are very strong, they can still be damaged by decay and force. Develop a few good habits and avoid bad ones to protect your teeth. Regular checkups help keep you on track as well.
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