- September 12, 2016
We all know that the things we put into our mouths affect our teeth and smile. We dentists have been reminding patients about this connection for years. We spend time during cleanings to tell people about what can hurt and what can improve their oral health.
While our Collegeville and Williamsport PA dental offices provide oral surgery and dental implant options, we also work with patients on nutritional counseling. Even though we have the skills to replace your missing teeth, your natural teeth are your best teeth. So, today I want to provide a few ways in which you can improve your smile. It makes sense that our everyday habits play a big part in our oral health. Let’s review what habits are killing your smile.
Consuming Too Much Soda
Soda has been the natural enemy of dentists since it was introduced. You’ve probably seen the health advertisements showing you how much sugar is in each soda. Sugar, in any form, is terrible for your teeth and can pave the way for rampant tooth decay. But sugar isn’t the only harmful substance in soda. Preservatives and acids in soda can also damage your teeth. Non-cola soft drinks contain higher levels of citric acid, which can cause damage to your teeth.
Not Staying Hydrating
We hear a lot about staying hydrated. It’s good for our overall health, but it’s also good for our oral health. Drinking water helps increase the saliva levels in the mouth. Saliva is a natural defender against tooth decay or problems like gum disease because it reduces acid levels in the mouth. If you have low saliva levels or take medication that causes dry mouth, tell your dentist and work toward safe and affordable solutions.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are extremely hard and durable. Think about how many times we use our teeth throughout the day. Our teeth are meant to chew through things. Chewing on hard objects increases your risk of breaking or fracturing your teeth. If you have the urge to chew on something throughout the day, skip crunching on ice or pens and chew on sugar-free gum.
Smoking or Using Smokeless Tobacco
Smoking isn’t just deadly, but it can also increase your risk of gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. At my office, I can tell you that many of my edentulous patients — those living without teeth — are smokers or use smokeless tobacco. Smoking or using tobacco also makes it harder for your body to heal itself, and can ultimately cause teeth or dental implants to fail. That means infections in the gums are harder to remove or improve if you’re a smoker or use tobacco products. Our team works with patients who smoke, offering tobacco cessation.