St. Charles MO Dentist Warns about Harmful Daily Habits

bad-dental-habitsMany of the seemingly innocent habits that we practice every day can take a major toll on our teeth. Being aware of the behaviors that are riskiest can go a long way towards preserving a healthy smile. Talk to your St. Charles MO dentist today about the impact of the following habits:

  • Sugar is the fuel that bacteria use to produce enamel-dissolving acids. The longer it remains in the mouth, the more harmful acid is produced, slowly weakening the surface of your teeth.
  • Soda, whether it’s diet or full-strength, these beverages contain erosive acids that may not add calories, but can certainly add cavities.
  • Alcohol, including wine, is an acidic beverage that packs double whammy. In addition to its erosive potential, alcohol also dries the mouth by reducing the production of saliva, leaving you vulnerable to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Adding a glass of water between your alcoholic beverages is a smart way to reverse this effect.
  • Pens, pencils, ice, bottle tops, price tags, and hair pins are just too hard to be chewed or bitten! Try to break the habit of putting these items in your mouth if you’d like to avoid worn or broken teeth.
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco are bad for your health, and that includes your oral health. These habits will lead to deeply-stained enamel, gum disease, bad breath, and a greater risk for oral cancer.

Which medications cause dry mouth? More than 500! From pain relievers to allergy medicines, including prescription drugs and over-the counter drugs, the side-effect of dry mouth can slow your saliva production and increase the potential for tooth decay.

Contact sports can be risky for children and adults without the help of a professionally-fitted mouthguard. Wearing these appliances during athletic activities can prevent broken teeth and other oral-facial injuries.

Nighttime clenching and grinding will not only wear down your teeth, but it can cause broken fillings, bone loss, receding gums, and sensitivity. Remember to mention this habit during your dental exam for suggestions on preventing unnecessary damage.

To talk to your dentist in St. Charles MO about these habits and others, call to schedule your appointment today.