Our teeth aren’t immune to damage even though ideally, they should last us a lifetime. To take the best care of your teeth, it’s imperative to brush, floss, and visit your dentist as recommended. However, what happens when you do all these things and yet still experience damage to your teeth? Here are five ways you could be hurting your teeth without knowing it!
1. Drinking Seltzer Water
Many people consider seltzer water, sometimes referred to as sparkling water, as a healthier alternative to soda.
While sparkling water with no added sugar can be better than soda in some instances, it’s still infused with carbon dioxide to give it bubbles. However, this carbon dioxide turns into carbonic acid, which lowers the pH of the drink.
What this means is that whereas regular water typically has a pH of around 7, seltzer water has a pH of around 3-4 . Some sodas have a pH of as low as 2, which is extremely acidic, but seltzer water isn’t as much of a healthier choice as people think.
2. Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it can still be damaged from acidic foods and drinks, bacteria, and yes, even brushing your teeth too hard!
Brushing aggressively isn’t necessary to remove plaque from your teeth. Take the time to brush each tooth and floss and harsh brushing won’t be necessary. And remember to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to further minimize damage to your tooth enamel!
3. Mouth Breathing
Breathing through your mouth can be damaging to your tooth enamel, especially when done on a regular basis. In fact, mouth breathing can promote gum disease and tooth decay ! People may breathe through their mouths when snoring, exercising, or just out of habit. Regardless, take steps to curb this harmful habit, which can dry out your mouth and promote bacteria that cause oral disease.
Constantly exposing your oral cavity to snacks throughout the day can damage your tooth enamel. Snacking is fine, but try to limit your snacks so that you aren’t consistently eating.
When we eat food, our mouths begin to break down the food through bacteria and saliva. But eating too frequently or eating the wrong kinds of foods can harm teeth. When you do snack, choose healthy options such as apples or carrots!
5. Not Addressing Acid Reflux
If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), otherwise known as acid reflux, it’s important to have this condition under control. Not only can acid reflux be harmful to your stomach and esophagus—it can be extremely damaging to teeth.
For some patients with acid reflux, harsh stomach acids can travel up the esophagus and end up in the oral cavity, where they can wreak havoc on teeth. These acids can wear away tooth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity, discoloration, cavities, and even tooth loss .
Did you know any of these five things could hurt your teeth? Be mindful when taking care of your smile. By protecting your teeth and gums with regular healthy habits, you can smile bright for life!