Seven Habits for a Healthy Smile

  1. Limit snacking between meals. When the sugars in foods mix with certain bacteria in the mouth, acid is created. Eating throughout the day constantly exposes your teeth to these acids that wear down the protective outer layer-the enamel-of your teeth.
  2. Drink a soft drink in one sitting-don’t sip it. Sipping allows the sugars and acids in soft drinks to continually coat your teeth and wear way the enamel. Drink soft drinks with a straw positioned toward the back of the mouth and be sure to rise your mouth with water. Wait at least an hour before brushing so there’s less risk of breaking down the already weakened enamel.
  3. Don’t Chew ice. Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, buy they were made for food only. Chewing ice can cause fracture lines, cracks and chips, which can make the teeth more sensitive and lead to further damge. It can also damage any dental work you may have, leading to pain and costly repairs. Try sugarfree gum instead.
  4. Stay away from sticky foods. They fill in every nook and cranny in your teeth, are hard to remove and can loosen your dental work. Even foods like potato chips can easily become lodged between the spaces in your teeth. Be sure to brush and rise after you indulge.
  5. If you must eat them, eat sugary treats with a meal. When you’re eating a meal, extra saliva is produced in your mouth. This saliva helps break down the harmful acids that attack tooth enamel and helps rinse away the sugars.
  6. Munch on aged cheese. The calcium in cheeses like afed cheddar, parmesan and Swiss may help protect tooth enamel from decay and also increases saliva.
  7. Drink water throughout the day. Water helps rinse the mouth and is a healthy alternative to sugary juices, soft drinks and other beverages. Drinking water helps not only your oral health, but your overall health as well.
Don’t forget visiting the dentist constantly. The standard twice-a-year visit (covered by most dental plans) is only half enough. Adults should see the dentist every 90 days. I know it sounds like a lot; but, after just three months, the bacteria we clean out of your mouth during a check-up — it’s all recolonized! I know it can seem expensive, especially if you have to pay for the additional visits out of pocket, but it’s well worth it from a health perspective. (Free Consultation always) If you think about what you might spend on regularly cutting or coloring your hair, it’s really not far off from that.
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