December 12, 2022
The importance of brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing every night has likely been stressed to you since you were a child. These important oral hygiene steps will help you avoid gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues, but they aren’t the only things you need to do to keep your smile healthy. There are also certain things that you should keep out of your mouth for fear of a dental emergency. Continue reading to learn about four foods and items that you shouldn’t put in your mouth to prevent damage to your smile.
#1: Lemons and Limes
For some, sucking on a slice of lemon or lime is a refreshing, sour burst on a warm day. It may seem harmless to enjoy some sour citrus every now and then, but lemons and limes are both highly acidic. This acid can damage your tooth enamel and make your smile more susceptible to cavities. It’s best to add some lemon to your beverage instead and follow up with a glass of water.
#2: Ice Cubes
Rather than lemons or limes, some people enjoy munching on a cup of ice cubes to cool them down on a hot day. Unfortunately, this is also bad for your teeth. Chewing on ice cubes can lead to cracks or breaks in your teeth. It may also be a sign that you have a condition called iron deficiency anemia. Other non-food items like pens and pencils can also harm your smile. Chew on sugar-free gum or suck on sugarless hard candy instead to prevent dental damage.
Somewhere between 20 and 30% of Americans bite their nails. This is sometimes a nervous habit that may point to mental or emotional distress. Some people bite their nails when they’re hungry or bored. This can lead to cracks, chips, or premature tooth wear and may also introduce potentially harmful bacteria and germs into your mouth. Have a healthy snack of fresh fruits and veggies like apple slices, carrot sticks, or celery instead to occupy your mouth without harming your smile. You should also speak with a mental health professional if you’re biting your nails due to mental or emotional distress.
#4: Hard Candy
Though hard candy is meant to melt in your mouth, some people get impatient and crunch it up with their teeth. This can damage your pearly whites by leaving cracks or fractures behind. Hard candy also contains lots of sugar, which feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. Instead, let the candy melt in your mouth. Opt for sugar-free variants since they won’t be as harmful to your teeth.
There are several unexpected foods and items that can harm your smile and lead to a dental emergency. Let your dentist know if you need help stopping bad habits or alternatives to any of the above. They will do what they can to help you make healthier decisions for your smile!
About the Practice
Annigan Dental offers patients exceptional oral health services and takes pride in the quality, comfortable care they administer to the residents of Bothell and the surrounding communities. Dr. Henry Hsue is a skilled dentist who leads a kind, capable team that aims to help you keep your smile looking and functioning at its best. If you want to learn more about their services or to set up an appointment, call Annigan Dental at (425) 492-6898 or visit their website.
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