We all know that the key to good oral health lies in keeping your teeth healthy and clean. But how well do you really know your pearly whites?
Our teeth aid us in talking, chewing and making our smile dazzle. So here are 5 teeth facts that can help you keep your teeth healthier than ever before!
1. Sour Isn’t Good For Your Teeth
It isn’t just sweet that is bad for your teeth, sour can be equally damaging. We all believe that sugar is the biggest dental villain there ever was, but the truth is that sour, acidic food that has a low pH can also ruin your teeth by softening them. The result – erosion of the enamel which makes teeth diminish in size!!!! Citric acid is your teeth’s worst nightmare, so don’t forget to brush your teeth and rinse thoroughly after eating citrus fruits or drinking fruit juices. Brushing periodically with baking soda has been shown to neutralize acids in the mouth, which reduces the amount of acid-loving bacteria that cause cavities.
If you love candy, switch to xylitol-containing gum like Orbit or Happy Dent which will help restore natural mineral balance in your teeth as well as prevent tooth decay.
2. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Start Missing Teeth
Believe it or not, people can have some teeth missing at almost any age. Some are born with missing teeth, and some simply don’t get wisdom teeth. Other common missing teeth are the lateral incisors (the tooth next to the big front tooth) and this could even be genetic, something you inherited from your family!
However, the most common cause for missing teeth is dental cavities and gum diseases and these can affect people of any age as well.
3. Your Braces Could Be The Reason For Your Cavities
If you wear braces, you need to be extra careful when you brush and rinse your teeth. Braces can make it hard for you to reach all corners of your mouth and it makes flossing impossible. This is precisely why braces can cause cavities; there are just too many nooks and corners where decay causing bacteria can hide!
Also, food and acid can stay stuck around the brackets of the braces and can erode the enamel over a period of time. Braces can also cause “demineralization” in teeth over a period of time. A crowded mouth may be harder to clean, so you simply have to make more effort!
4. Enamel Is Not Tough Enough To Resist Chipping & Breakage
You might have heard that enamel is the hardest substance found in the body. Even after a buried corpse starts to decay, forensic scientists can gauge the age, sex and sometimes even the identity of the dead body only through the teeth (often by tracking dental records), since these don’t decompose as quickly as the rest of the body does. However, enamel can break, and rather easily too. Things like chewing on ice or popcorn that’s too hard and even lip/tongue piercings can chip your teeth. In fact, dentists hate popcorn because it’s hard as stone and can erode away dental fillings while also cause chips in the tooth enamel. The best way to keep your enamel healthy is to treat it with TLC – don’t try to pry open tin cans or beer bottles using your teeth!
A word of caution here: A 2007 review study published in the American Journal of Dentistry showed that 14% to 41% of people with oral piercings suffered from tooth fractures and wear. They noted that piercing in the mouth may cause “significant oral deformities” and “may lead to tooth loss.”
5. Fluoride Might Be Good For Teeth, But Not In Excess
First of all, fluoride is very important for healthy teeth. It makes the enamel harder and keeps gum diseases at bay. However, fluoride in excess isn’t they key for dental care but can make your teeth porous! Also, kids below the age of 8 (when their permanent teeth are still developing) must be supervised while brushing because ingesting fluoride too often can result in a disease known as Fluorisis, wherein the teeth develop permanent white/brown spots that cannot be polished off.
In fact, it’s better to use a fluoride-free toothpaste for kids until they can understand that they need to spit it out and not swallow it.
So these are just a few interesting facts about your teeth and some of them aren’t common knowledge.
Also, if you want to improve your oral health, also read: What’s Lurking In Your Toothbrush?