Posted April 26, 2016
Your smile can give a wonderful first impression. That’s why it’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Review six things that can ruin your smile, as provided by Health.
1. Tobacco – Smoking cigarettes can yellow teeth, experts report. Tar from tobacco products leaves a sticky film on teeth that can collect bacteria, break down tooth enamel and lead to decay.
2. Sports drinks – Many kids and adults drink sports beverages while participating in fitness and athletic activities. However, some brands may contain a high concentration of acids and sugars that can erode tooth enamel, leaving the dentin underneath exposed to bacteria.
3. Wine – Regularly drinking wine can discolor and damage teeth. White and red wine contain acids and, when consumed regularly, also can erode protective tooth enamel.
4. Pregnancy – Changes in hormones and increases in estrogen and progesterone that occur during pregnancy can lead to red, swollen, tender gums. Moms-to-be should have an extra dental exam and cleaning during the year, but skip the x-rays. If you suffer from reflux or morning sickness, swish your mouth with water to remove harmful acids.
5. Poor nutrition – Some popular diets and poor nutrition can limit intake of essential vitamins and nutrients, such as folate, vitamin B and C, protein and calcium, which help support healthy teeth and gums. Make sure you’re getting the daily-recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals.
6. Not brushing and flossing – It’s important to gently brush teeth twice daily, after breakfast and before bedtime, for at least two minutes each time. It’s also important to floss once daily to remove food particles that collect between teeth and gums. Dental experts report that flossing is the single most important tool to preventing periodontal (gum) disease.
Read more about how eating healthy lunches can keep teeth healthy, too.