The recipe for tooth decay is pretty straightforward. Gather your ingredients:
- Tooth enamel
Combine daily until a layer of plaque develops. Add time. Voila! You’ll have cavities quicker than you can say, “This was a mistake.”
We know you aren’t trying to rot your teeth. But staying on top of keeping your teeth clean at home is trickier than you think. We agree with Benjamin Franklin that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” which is why 1st In Smiles is the Plano, TX choice for tooth decay prevention. That’s also why we’ve compiled this list of ways your eating and drinking habits might be hurting your teeth.
Beware of Bad Habits Pretending to Be Good
You know sugary chocolate bars aren’t great for your teeth. But what about lollipops and peppermints? With only around four grams of sugar, these treats are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without rotting it, right? Wrong!
While the sugar in hard candy is minimal, the amount of time it spends on your teeth is treacherous. When you get your 1,000 licks in, the bacteria on your tooth enamel is also enjoying a tasty snack. As it works, it produces a huge concentration of acid that will work to damage your chompers.
Speaking of bathing your teeth in sugar, how’s that soda you’re sipping on? If you’re using a straw, you’re off to a great start. That minimizes how much you’ll saturate your pearly whites. But you can probably tell where we’re going with this. As with sucking on hard candy, sipping on soda all day basically gives decay-causing bacteria a four-course dinner.
You can’t feel or see when bacteria are feasting on a sugar smorgasbord. That’s why it’s important to schedule continual exams with us at 1st In Smiles. Dr. Barfield will spot any signs of tooth decay or gum disease and partner with you on an individualized plan for keeping your teeth clean at home.
Watch Out for Secret Sugar
Smoothie and juice bars are a multi-billion dollar industry. And if you aren’t careful, smoothies can also be a multi-bacteria industry inside your mouth. Some of the worst ones hide a staggering 108 grams of sugar. That’s 150% more than an ice cream sundae from McDonald’s! We suggest you make your smoothies at home where you can control what goes in them. Your clean teeth will thank you.
You already know what coffee is doing to your teeth in terms of discoloration. But if you’re a fan of blended drinks or flavored lattes, you also need to think about the sugar content. One 16-ounce mocha can have upwards of 27 grams of sugar. And if you’re sipping on it all morning, well… you know the rest.
Your teeth are covered in plaque, a sticky film that contains hungry bacteria. You can do your part to stop feeding those bacteria by watching out for secret sugar at home. And you can conquer plaque by scheduling regular cleanings from 1st In Smiles. Our staff will both remove plaque from your teeth and polish your smile till it shines.
Defend Yourself From Alcoholic Adversaries
Red wine is a classic tooth-stainer. But did you know that white wine can be worse for your smile? The same acid that gives your Sauvignon Blanc its refreshing crispness also works to erode your enamel. Sip water as you drink to make sure that acid doesn’t make itself at home on your teeth.
This is supposed to be sneaky ways you’re sabotaging your oral health, right? We all know alcohol is full of sugar, so why is it on this list? Well, alcohol affects your smile in more ways than one. One of the most notorious symptoms of a hangover is dry mouth. Saliva is a powerful ally in the war against tooth decay. The acids in your mouth – from plaque and from wine – are neutralized by the ingredients in your saliva. When you’re hungover and your mouth feels like it’s filled with cotton, you’re depriving your teeth of their mightiest natural defense.
Fortunately, you can call us for reinforcements. We offer a variety of fluoride treatments at 1st In Smiles to strengthen your enamel and protect it from erosion. Pairing water with booze and taking advantage of our preventive care is a one-two punch against decay.
Don’t Give Up Your Favorite Foods to Keep Your Teeth Clean at Home!
You don’t need to live an austere life to have good oral health. The key is moderation, another virtue supported by Benjamin Franklin. Making a few shrewd changes in your habits can have a huge impact on your smile:
- Opt for sugar-free mints and hard candy
- Don’t sip on soda and sugary coffee all day
- Watch out for hidden sources of sugar
- Be sure to drink plenty of water with any alcohol consumption
Don’t deprive yourself of reasons to smile! Supplement your treats with good habits like brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily. Most importantly, keep up with your regular checkups and cleanings from 1st In Smiles. And if you haven’t already, schedule a fluoride treatment to boost your defenses by calling us at 972-380-8105.