They may be covered with enamel—the hardest substance in the human body—but it doesn’t mean that teeth are indestructible. The high demand for good dentists around the world means that teeth are just as susceptible to damage as the other parts of the body, especially when you don’t treat teeth with respect.
What Causes Tooth Damage?
Food combined with bacteria causes tooth decay. If you don’t brush your teeth or rinse your mouth, bacteria feed on sugars and release acids that attack teeth for several minutes after eating. Over time, acids eventually damage the enamel and cause cavities. Trauma and injury from sporting activities, the wrong dental products and grinding teeth can also damage the enamel. Other culprits:
Drinking Carbonated Beverages
Cola beverages are usually made with phosphoric acid. Acid is very good at melting things, including teeth enamel. A study from Tufts University found that phosphoric acid in cola beverages bind calcium in the stomach, keeping the mineral from being absorbed by the body. Lack of calcium can mean lost teeth. If you can’t avoid drinking soda, limit your intake to one glass (8 ounces) once or twice a week.
Using Teeth as Scissors
Never use teeth as tools. Using teeth to rip open that bag of chips is never a good idea because many bags are made of thin aluminium that can wear down teeth. Using teeth to cut string is another no-no. Your front teeth are designed to cut meat and vegetables, not inedible materials.
Besides causing cancer, tobacco smoke (and passive smoking) interferes with the natural production of saliva that keeps teeth surfaces clean. Smoking can stain or discolor teeth, increase plaque buildup and contribute to advanced gum disease (chronic periodontitis).
Treat your teeth with respect and they will serve you for a lifetime.
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