Oh, the Things We Do to Our Teeth

dental healthOur teeth are like super heroes. Well, super heroes without the tights. They spend all their time fighting the likes of bacteria, tartar, plaque…and your bad habits! Yes, our teeth are doing their utmost to allow us to get the nutrition we need, and what do we do? Chew ice, open bottles, drink acid-laced drinks, and other bad habits that show little respect for our enamel-covered friends.

At Kalil & Kress, we like our patients to be as knowledgeable as possible about their teeth, including what they are doing to harm them! See if you’re guilty of any of these bad dental habits.

Grinding your teeth — Life can be stressful, and we take it out on our teeth by grinding them at night while we’re dreaming about killing our boss. This behavior is called bruxism, and you are actually grinding your teeth down when you do it. The problem is that most people who grind don’t realize they do it, unless they awake with very sore jaws. But the pros at Kalil & Kress can see the signs and get you into a mouthguard to wear at night.

Chewing ice — While ice may be sugar-free and no-cal, that doesn’t mean you should be munching on it like Mr. Ed eating some hay. Chewing ice can chip or crack your teeth. It also irritates the soft tissue inside the tooth, causing toothaches.

Sodas — In this country people are cutting down on soda consumption, but for the wrong reasons. Well, not all wrong. It’s obvious the sugars can lead to dental decay, but they also contain phosphoric and citric acids. These are corrosives that eat away at the enamel protecting your teeth.

Your teeth, the opener — Everyone knows someone who takes great pride in opening bottles with their teeth. While this is an interesting parlor trick, you’re best to leave it to that person. Opening a beer bottle with your teeth is the quickest way to crack them.

Bottle in the crib — Leaving a bottle with your baby at night is doubly weak. It’s a weak way to avoid the full-on feeding, and it’s bad for the child. The tot may fall asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth, bathing the teeth in sugars overnight. Feed them before bed and they will calm down.

Fruit juice — Skip the juice “beverage” and opt for fruit juices that are 100% juice. No Hawaiian Punch or Hi C, OK! Why? Because there is often as much sugar in these pseudo-juices as in soda. Once you read the label you’ll see that these “juices” have all of around 10% juice content. Plus, in certain juices, the acidity is pretty high.

Snack-o-rama — What’s the big deal eating a few Red Vines followed by a pretzel or two? Well, when you eat a regular meal, your mouth understands it needs to get with saliva production to help eliminate and break down residual particles. But when you snack for brief periods, you don’t produce saliva in the same way. The lack of saliva when you eat a snack means that food bits can stay in your teeth for hours. If you need a snack, opt for something low in sugar and starch, like carrots.

Cigarette smoking — This one’s a no brainer. Cigarettes stain your teeth and lead to gum disease. As if that weren’t enough, tobacco also leads to cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. And it’s so 1960.

OK, we didn’t mean to make you feel bad, but the team at Kalil & Kress wants you to care as much about your teeth as we do. And now you know some of the ways you’re mistreating them! Call us at 603-880-7004 to make your next appointment.

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