Our teeth our tougher than a copperhead in the West Virginia woods. The toughness of our teeth actually creates a problem, however, because we take them for granted. We don’t ever worry about our teeth not being there for us, so we torture them with all sorts of bad behavior. Here’s a list of bad habits compiled by the American Dental Association that need to go away for the sake of your teeth. Although Dr. Barney would benefit from you continuing these behaviors, he’d rather see you come in with healthy teeth!
Eight things you’re doing to your teeth
- Grinding your teeth — Life can be stressful, especially now that the Mountaineers are in the Big 12! For many people, those stresses are internalized and come out when we’re asleep and we grind our teeth. This is called bruxism. Everyone knows grinding your teeth is bad: it literally grinds your teeth down. Most people who grind don’t realize they do it, unless they wake up with very sore jaws. But Dr. Barney can see the signs and get you into a mouthguard to wear at night.
- Chewing ice — Ice may be no-cal, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Lots of people, particularly men, chew ice. Chewing it can chip or crack your teeth. It also irritates the soft tissue inside the tooth, causing toothaches.
- Sodas — Everyone knows they could do without as many sodas as we all drink. For your dental health, you’d think it was because of the sugar, but that’s not necessarily the case. Yes, 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.
- Fruit juice — Fruit juice has to be good for you, right? Well, if it were only fruit juice that would be much better than the sugar-added drinks that masquerade as fruit juice. Fruit juice “cocktails,” for instance, usually are made with only 10% of the drink being actual fruit juice. Look for fruit juices that are 100% juice. Otherwise, there is often as much sugar in it as in soda. Plus, in certain juices the acidity is pretty high.
- Bottle in the crib — Some people think putting a bottle in your baby’s crib to help him or her fall asleep is a great idea. It’s not. He or she may fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth, bathing the teeth in sugars overnight. And the thing about teeth is if they start down the path to decay that trend will probably continue all the way through adolescence.
- Your teeth, the opener — Everyone knows a guy who revels in opening bottles with his teeth. Let him put his unique skills up on YouTube. You can chip or crack your teeth very easily.
- Constant snacking — When you eat a regular meal, your mouth produces more saliva and that helps 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 — Why does anyone smoke anymore? As if they weren’t bad enough for their ability to cause emphysema and lung cancer, cigarettes also stain your teeth and lead to gum disease.
OK, admit it. You’ve been doing most of the things above and now it’s time for Dr. Barney to rectify the damage. No worries. Call us at 304-754-8803 and let’s take a look.