A fan-favorite Holiday is right around the corner: Halloween! This spooky holiday is great for so many reasons: the costumes, the parties, and of course, the candy. Those sticky treats can also cause cavities, tooth decay, and enamel erosion. For years, we’ve emphasized the importance of brushing your teeth thoroughly after eating sweets on Halloween, but the spooky vibes continue year round. Keep reading to learn the scary side effects of common habits that we educate patients on and encourage them to avoid.
Clenching and Grinding
Grinding your teeth can have serious consequences – and you may not know you’re even doing it! Grinding and clenching your teeth – or bruxism – comes in two different forms: while you’re awake and asleep. If you experience bruxism while awake, it can sometimes be self-detected. Common signs include increased stress and anxiety. On the flip side, if you experience bruxism while sleeping, noticing the condition is a little harder. Don’t be spooked though, your dentist (us!) will be able to catch it during your bi-annual checkups. Identifiers include increased tooth pain or sensitivity, tight jaw muscles, dull headache in the temples, worn out enamel, and more. To read more about other signs that could signal bruxism, click here.
Two of the most popular drinks can also cause long-term damage to the health of your teeth: soda and coffee. While delicious, they can be detrimental to your oral health due to their high acidity levels. Enamel protects your teeth but it can be damaged just as easily – and this damage is irreversible and can lead to tooth decay. Colgate states that while you can’t necessarily prevent damage from these drinks (without eliminating them altogether), you can protect your teeth better by drinking them in moderation and attending your annual dental cleanings.
Remember when charcoal toothpaste was all the rave for achieving a naturally white smile? Well, one very important group did NOT give charcoal toothpaste their approval: The American Dental Association. There are no long-term studies about the effectiveness or the potential side effects of charcoal toothpaste. This article by HuffPost states that the most effective way to get whiter teeth is with professional whitening done by a dentist. To book an appointment with our team for teeth whitening, click the link here.
Chewing on Ice
We all know someone who does this! And while it may seem insignificant, it can cause incredibly damaging effects to your teeth. Chewing ice can lead to cracked or chipped teeth and even damage some existing dental work that you’ve had done. The bottom line is, this habit could cost you a lot of money in the long run. Instead of ice, try chewing on other crunchy treats like kale chips, apples, or carrots!
Knowing what common snacks and activities affect your oral health is just as important as attending your routine teeth cleaning. However, treats in moderation are okay as long as you’re maintaining your oral health and attending regular dental appointments. And if you think any of these habits might be affecting your teeth, be proactive and come visit us!
To schedule an appointment in one of our Charlotte offices, click here.
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