Updated: 2/7/2020 Teeth are an important part of our bodies because they aid in breaking down food and digestion, but they can easily be chipped, broken, or damaged. Most people…

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7 Shocking Things That Damage Teeth

Updated: 2/7/2020

Teeth are an important part of our bodies because they aid in breaking down food and digestion, but they can easily be chipped, broken, or damaged. Most people are aware of things that damage teeth, such as grinding them or eating sugary foods. However, there are many other things that can have a negative impact on teeth, many of which you may be shocked to find out.

1. Meat

You probably aren’t willing to give up that juicy steak just to save your teeth, but you should at least floss or chew some sugarless gum after indulging. Meat can easily get stuck in between teeth, which attracts bacteria. This could ultimately result in tooth decay.

 2. Bread

Another food you should take caution with when eating is bread. Bread is often rich in sugar because of the carbohydrates and starches. Processed white bread is the worst, as it contains a lot of added sugar. Check the label before buying bread, and put back anything with added sugar.

 3. Using your teeth as tools

Can’t find the scissors? People often use their teeth to rip off a price tag or bite their nails to even out a jagged edge, but these uses of teeth are actually harmful. It can wear down the jaw bone, causing a misalignment of the jaw.

 4. Diet pills

A common side effect of many diet pills is dry mouth. Dry mouth is a lack of saliva in your mouth. Because saliva helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth, dry mouth can often lead to decay, or an overgrowth of bacteria called oral thrush.

 5. Swimming

Many sports can damage your teeth: football, basketball, and wrestling to name a few. This is because the physical contact involved in these sports can often result in knocked out teeth. Most people would not expect that swimming is bad for your teeth as well. The amount of chlorine in pools can wear away the enamel, making your teeth more prone to damage. Try swimming in fresh or salt water if possible, or brush your teeth after swimming and try to avoid your mouth’s contact with pool water altogether.

 6. Using the wrong toothbrush

If you think that any old toothbrush will do the trick, you’d be wrong. There are two types of toothbrushes: those with soft bristles, and those with hard bristles. The ones with hard bristles can be too abrasive and cause damage to your enamel. The safest toothbrush to use is one with soft bristles.

 7. Over-brushing

It’s possible to brush too much. While brushing your teeth is a great habit, doing so too often can wear the enamel on your teeth. Dentists recommend limiting brushing no more than two to three times a day, to ensure a clean – but not too clean – mouth.

Eliminating some of these habits and continuing to brush and floss regularly can help to improve your dental health, as well as decrease the risk of any damage. Ask your dentist about other habits that may be damaging your teeth, and how you can avoid them.

    • Fortunately, our dentists have been trained to use those tools so as to not damage our teeth with them but remove the plaque that can harm our teeth.

  1. What about using a water pick and peroxide. Will that hurt your teeth? One dentist says it good one says it’s . What is it?

    • Hi Lawrence, a water pick will not damage your teeth, though it is not as effective as using regular floss. Peroxide is beneficial to teeth as long as it is used in moderation. If used extensively, it can actually erode the enamel, making your teeth more prone to cavities.

  2. I swim everyday and had no idea it could damage my teeth. Are there chlorine substitutes my club could use? I’ll certainly brush after swimming

    • Hi Brad, I am not sure about chlorine substitutes, though I have heard of pools that use salt water instead. However, brushing your teeth afterward should be enough to protect your teeth! Thanks for reading!

  3. Looks like the best thing in life are the ones damaging our teeth. Everything should be taken into moderation as usual.

  4. A very informative blog. I will keep coming back. Didn’t know that the amount of chlorine in pools could wear away the enamel and damage teeth. Also the harmful effects of over brushing.

  5. I bet a lot of people never thought of the pool as a dangerous place for teeth! No, you don’t need to wear a mouth guard while your swimming (unless maybe you play water polo) but you still need to practice good oral hygiene and keep your teeth clean.

  6. Interesting about chlorine pools and diet pills. I would not have known, but yes, meat, or anything that can get lodged between the teeth can promote decay. Really, if we take good care of our teeth by brushing AND flossing daily, we can keep our teeth for as long as we live… without ANY cavities.

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