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1. Avoid acidic, sugary beverages, such as soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks.

Be aware of soda, sports drinks and energy drinks – they are very harmful to your teeth. These drinks are loaded with sugar which feeds bacteria in our mouths and creates acid. Individuals who bathe their teeth in acid gradually corrode their enamel and cause decay. Even the diet beverages take a toll on your pearly whites, since the citric and phosphoric acids in these beverages also cause damage. Instead of reaching for a beverage full of sugar and acid, consider a tall glass of healthy, cleansing water.

2. Toothpastes vary in abrasiveness: Some toothpastes (i.e., whitening/smokers stain) contain harmful abrasives that negatively affect the protective layer of enamel on the teeth.

Improperly using those innovative whitening toothpastes available on the market can seriously damage your teeth. Toothpaste is abrasive: Especially the varieties of toothpaste that contain whitening agents. When used incorrectly, these abrasives can gradually cause thinning or erosion of the tooth enamel.

3. Bruxism (teeth grinding), can cause excessive wear on the teeth and muscle pain.

Grinding the teeth wears them down, can lead to microfractures (weakened areas of the teeth) and actually cause your teeth to fracture. Some people grind their teeth when they are stressed or feeling anxious; however, an abnormal bite, crooked or missing teeth can also cause bruxism. Individuals who suffer from nocturnal bruxism should consider a custom mouth guard to wear as they sleep. The custom mouth guards we offer at Espinal & Willis – Carolinas Center for Advanced Dentistry are less bulky and fit more naturally than over-the-counter options.

4. Smoking tobacco contributes to periodontal disease and, of course, oral cancer.

Smokers are 3 times more likely to have periodontal disease. The chronic bacterial infection affects the gum tissues and the bone that supports the tooth, and eventually causes tooth loss.
Smoke dries out the mouth and creates hardened calculus which irritates the gingival tissues. Smoking also reduces the amount of blood flow and therefore reduces healing properties. 27% of smokeless tobacco uses have gum recession, which leads to periodontal disease as well.

5. Prolonged use of hard candies, cough drops and mints containing sugar can contribute to dental cavities.

These sugary lozenges and candy sit in your mouth feeding the harmful bacteria that create the acid responsible for the formation of plaque on the teeth. Try to find sugar-free (or diabetic) lozenges, hard candies and mints. In addition, drink plenty of water to rinse your mouth after eating these foods.

Taking good care of your teeth is essential. At Espinal & Willis – Carolinas Center for Advanced Dentistry in Rock Hill SC, we are dedicated to helping our patients care for their teeth because they need to last them a lifetime. To learn more about caring for your teeth and the services we offer, contact us today by calling 803.327.4166