Many people know that soda and candy are not good for teeth, but did you realize that your teeth encounter many other hazards in daily life? From your morning workout to the dinner table, your teeth must deal with things that can damage them every day. Here are five potential dangers to watch out for to prevent tooth damage.
1. Pool Chemicals
Chlorine keeps swimming pools clean by killing harmful bacteria. However, pools that contain high levels of chlorine can stain teeth, damage enamel, and make teeth sensitive. This is because chlorine reduces the pH of the pool water so that it is acidic. If you have a backyard pool, check the pH regularly to ensure it is between 7.2 and 7.8.
2. Salad Dressing
Salad is typically a healthy food, containing plenty of vitamins and minerals. However, if the dressing you put on your salad is vinegar-based, it could contribute to acid erosion of your dental enamel. To reduce the damage, sip on water while you eat the salad to wash the vinegar away from your teeth.
Many people assume that sugary foods are the worst offenders when it comes to causing tooth decay, but starches can be just as bad. When you chew bread, enzymes in your saliva break down the starches to sugars, which feed the bacteria that cause cavities. To protect your teeth, rinse your mouth with water after your lunchtime sandwich.
Stress causes many people to clench their jaw or grind their teeth. These bad habits can wear down or even chip teeth. A fitted mouth guard can prevent you from grinding your teeth at night. During the day, use relaxation exercises to release tension from the jaw and keep your teeth safe.
5. Brushing at the Wrong Time
Learning about the things that harm your teeth might make you want to reach for your toothbrush. However, brushing your teeth is not always the right response. Acids in foods like citrus fruits, salad dressing, and soda soften tooth enamel. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating something acidic, the abrasive action of the toothbrush could wear away your enamel. Drink a glass of water and wait 30 minutes.