As the first contributor in the digestive process, helping to break down foods you consume so they are more easily digested and the nutrients absorbed, your teeth play a paramount role in your overall health. Bad teeth can lead to more widespread damage in your body and cause health degradation. Your teeth are affected by the foods and drinks you consume along with many other habits of which you might be unaware. Brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist are obviously the most common and effective ways of caring for the health of your chompers, but there are other things you can be doing—and NOT doing—to keep your smile in great shape.
1. Stop drinking carbonated, sugary beverages.
You may think this is a no-brainer, but pop/soda is very acidic and its high sugar content can contribute to eroding your tooth enamel. In addition to breaking down enamel, the acidity in pop can cause decay around your gums, possibly leading to gum disease or tooth loss.
2. When you drink a dark-colored beverage, sip through a straw.
Colored beverages are a known culprit in causing stains to your teeth. If you're a coffee drinker, this could be one of the reasons why your teeth are looking a bit yellow these days. Sipping dark drinks through a straw can prevent the liquid from coming in direct contact with the front of your teeth and causing stains.
3. Knock off the nail biting.
If you bite your nails, you're most likely spreading bacteria from your hands into your mouth, which can contribute to messing up your teeth. The consistent gnawing action can also cause damage to your teeth, splitting the enamel or even causing a shift in tooth placement. Nail biting can also cause problems with your jaw, which is particularly bad for people who struggle with TMJ or other jaw conditions.
4. Don't use your teeth as a tool.
When you don't have scissors or a knife around to help you open up a package, you may turn to your teeth as a makeshift tool—a very bad idea. Your teeth are not meant to endure prying, peeling or biting non-food items; doing so can cause your teeth to break, fillings to pop out, or items to get lodged—painfully—between your teeth or gums. If you need to open something, it's always worth it to take the time to find the proper tool instead of resorting to your chompers.
5. Naturally whiten as you crunch on fresh fruits.
Crunchy, naturally sweet fruits like strawberries and apples can help clean and whiten your smile, so it's a good idea to start adding some to your diet if they're not already present. Strawberries contain a natural astringent and vitamin C which work to erase surface stains and plaque while brightening. Apples are a natural, abrasive fruit that work like a toothbrush to remove food particles and bacteria while wiping out stains.
6. Chew sugarless gum.
You might think that chewing gum is a bad habit to get into, but it can actually be beneficial for your teeth and oral health. Chewing sugarless gum, or one that is sweetened with xylitol or another natural sweetener, can help to stimulate your salivary glands and increase saliva production—something that is important in washing away bacteria and excess food particles from your mouth. Saliva also works to keep your mouth from becoming dry and causing bad breath.
7. Say no to munching on ice.
It may have become a habit for you, crunching on the ice cubes left over after finishing off a cold drink, but it could be doing damage to your pearly whites. Chewing ice cubes can cause breakage, splits and even knock your jaw out of whack if you do it repeatedly.
8. Consume calcium-rich foods and drinks.
9. Add vitamins to your daily routine.
can fight free radical damage with powerful antioxidant
properties, and vitamin C
can stop your gums from bleeding. Along with benefiting your teeth and oral health, adding a vitamin supplement to your health care regimen can help improve many other aspects of your health and wellbeing.
10. Watch out for chewy candies.
Caramels and other sticky, chewy candies that cause your teeth and jaw to work overtime can yank out fillings, crowns and caps that may already be loose. If you've noticed something loose in your teeth, don't exacerbate the problem and risk potential pain by chewing on these aggravating candies.
Your teeth play a key role in determining your overall wellness. Neglecting them can lead to damage and disease that could affect other areas of your health and possibly cause problems in the future. Check out our selection of dental and oral health-enhancing products today at eVitamins!
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.