Most people know that keeping their teeth healthy is important for overall good health. However, not all healthy habits are good for your teeth. Here are five 'healthy' habits that are actually bad for your teeth.
Studies have shown that drinking red wine can be good for heart health, and many people happily drink a glass or two for 'medicinal purposes' several times a week. However, the alcohol content in wine can be damaging to your teeth. Red wine has long been known to stain teeth, but even one glass of any type of wine can cause problems. The alcohol in wine can dry out your mouth, causing bad breath, and it can also leech calcium from your teeth, weakening them. Some studies have even linked alcohol to oral cancer, especially in people who regularly drink large amounts of alcoholic drinks.
While eating fruit is generally pretty healthy for you, eating some types of fruit can be damaging to your dental health. Dried fruits, like raisins and prunes, are particularly high in sugar, and they tend to be sticky when you eat them. These can lead to cavities, especially if you don't clean your teeth thoroughly after eating them.
Citrus fruits such as grapefruit and lemons can be bad for your teeth, too. The acid in the citrus can erode the enamel of your teeth and leave them vulnerable to bacteria. Orange juice is slightly less acidic, and some varieties come with added calcium to help negate the effects of the citric acid on your teeth.
Brushing too vigorously
Everyone knows that daily brushing is a crucial part of maintaining good oral health, but how you brush is just as important as how often you do it. This is because if you brush too vigorously, you can damage the enamel on your teeth and leave them susceptible to germs and bacteria. Brushing too often can also be bad news. It can lead to sensitive teeth, damaged enamel and irritated gums.
Taking gummy vitamins
If you prefer gummy vitamins, you could be damaging your teeth for the sake of boosting your vitamin intake. While gummy vitamins are infused with healthy nutrients and vitamins, they are also sticky and usually full of sugar, a bad combination for teeth. If you want to take gummy or chewable vitamins, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after taking them, or brush your teeth to remove the sugary residue. And don't think that sugar-free gummies are any better; they contain citric acid, which is bad for tooth enamel, and their stickiness can cause other cavity-causing foods to stick to the surface of your teeth.
Brushing right after a meal
Some foods contain carbohydrates and sugars that can attack the enamel of your teeth for up to twenty minutes after you've eaten them. During this time, the enamel is weakened and your teeth are at a higher risk of being damaged from brushing them. It's best to wait half an hour to give your teeth's enamel enough time to firm back up so it can protect your teeth while you brush.
It can help to drink water or rinse your mouth out with water while waiting for the enamel to harden—especially if you're looking for ways to still take gummy vitamins or drink wine without the repercussions. This will rinse away some of the harmful bacteria and help reduce the risk of cavities.
Remember that good oral health is an important part of your overall health, so be sure to visit a local family dentist like Eden Prairie Dental Care regularly for checkups and to catch small problems before they can become big ones.