- Eat lots of sugary, sticky, and processed foods. Especially dried fruit like raisins. Yup, you heard me right. Sticky raisins stay in the crevices of your teeth like a sticky fruit rollup would and can cause decay.
- Forget to floss your teeth. I know. It’s a pain, and you’ve already brushed. Isn’t that enough? Only floss the ones you want to keep. Yes, there was that article a few years ago that posed an argument that flossing is a waste of time. I beg to disagree. Flossing can actually help your gums and bone. When food particles and bacteria get trapped between your teeth, they can cause gum disease and bone loss, which can lead to tooth loss. Brushing is also important, but teeth can be repaired. Once you have bone loss and gum recession, there’s less I can do to help you. If you don’t have the bone or gums to keep your teeth in, I can’t get that back for you. You can do much more permanent damage with bone loss than with tooth decay.
- Suck on lemons or sugary soda. These are the worst! There is so much acid in lemons and soda that can break down the enamel of your teeth that protect them from decay. I have more bad news. Even sugar free sodas can contain damaging acids like citric and phosphoric acids.
- Smoke. Smoking can lead to gum disease, tooth loss and mouth cancer. This is in addition to harm smoking does on the rest of your body. While you’re at it, stay away from vaping also. Although delivered in smaller doses than traditional cigarettes, the nicotine could still cause gum disease and bone loss. Want to keep your teeth for the long haul? Stay away from all forms of nicotine.
- Forget to schedule your regular dental checkups. You knew that would be in there, didn’t you. ;) But why, you say?! I brush AND I floss, you say! Let’s put it this way. It’s less expensive to visit the dentist regularly and nip any tooth problems in the bud than it is to come in with tooth pain and need to get major work done. You’ll thank us later. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
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