If you’re visiting the dentist regularly and staying on top of your oral care routine, it’s pretty easy to keep your teeth strong, healthy, and white. Habit and misfortune, however, can derail even the best-laid plan, leaving you with either chipped or stained teeth instead of the set you’d like to parade around the neighborhood. And, while every tooth-related calamity isn’t preventable, many can be avoided by simply thinking smart, watching our surroundings, and avoiding habits that can literally take a “bite” out of our beautiful smiles. Let us share some wisdom!
Outstepping a Chipped Tooth
- Falls: If you’re the type of person who seems to have a sixth sense when it comes to your surroundings, always overstepping the obstacles in your path, your teeth owe you a lifetime of gratitude. However, if you’re prone to step on, and trip over anything that’s not four feet off the ground and in plain view, you may find yourself in the dental chair at some point, firming up your knowledge on modern bonding techniques. So, please watch your step! Oh, and cyclists too! There’s nothing worse than flying headfirst over your handle bars because you failed to notice the pothole in your path while riding. In fact, did you know cycling is a leading cause of tooth LOSS? Yikes!
- Face trauma: Occasionally, a hard elbow to the face just happens: a friend turns around to speak with you when you’re not looking, or that can of beans drops from the top shelf of your cabinet at just the right angle to take half a front tooth out. Not fun. For the rest of us though (barring major accidents), most face trauma comes as the result of our participation in sports. For this reason, a sports mouth guard, is your best form of prevention. If you participate in sports, ask your dentist to get fitted today … they’re more affordable and more comfortable than you think!
- Food Mishaps: We’ve all been there: the un-popped kernel of popcorn; the small rock in the fresh bag of lentils, those startling occasions when we bite down on the fork at the oddest of angles. With food-related concerns, you mainly have to think smart to avoid trouble: feel around in the popcorn bag for what you’re putting into your mouth before you start chewing; rinse and examine that bag of beans, and be conscious of how you’re holding your fork – especially if you often bounce back and forth between chopsticks and western cutlery. Also, hard candies, ice, and other things that pack a crunch can take a chunk out of a tooth with ease, and can also lead to fractures if you find yourself repeatedly enjoying too much of a “good thing.” Don’t chew on these things …
- Piercings: Tongue and lip piercings may be trendy, but they can also take a toll on your teeth. Something to keep in mind.
- Bad Habits: If you enjoy using your mouth as if it were a crescent wrench, pair of pliers, or bottle opener, the luck on your desire to maintain a perfect smile might soon run out. Just say no to the silliness, be patient, and find the right tool. Remember, your teeth do not come with a Craftsman® lifetime warranty.
Keeping Your Teeth WhiteSave for intrinsic staining resulting from antibiotic use as a child, or other more serious causes, staining can often be avoided by reducing our consumption of the main offenders, using a straw when possible, and rinsing after eating foods that tend to stain our teeth. The best tip we can give is: if the food item in question can stain fabric, it’s likely to be able to stain your teeth as well.
Here are some of the biggest offenders (in no particular order):
- Black teas
- Deeply colored sauces (soy, tomato, curry)
- Colored Sodas
- Some dark fruits and vegetables like beets and berries (typically transient in nature, however)