Ways to Love your Smile this Valentine’s Day

Want to love your smile well, protecting it from damage and keeping it beautiful as long as possible?  Follow these tips for showing your teeth some love this year.

Avoid Drastic Temperature Changes

Did you know that drastic temperature changes can cause cracks in your enamel?  Think about it.  You know not to pour hot water on your frozen windshield because it could crack.  But we rarely think of the potential damage from eating hot soup and following with an ice cold drink, or going from your cold cereal to a sip of hot coffee.

Pause between temperature changes and let your mouth reach is normal temperature first.  This will protect your enamel from the risk of surface cracks and craze that can develop from these sharp changes in temperature.

Don’t Chew Really Hard Food Items

Many people love to eat hard or crunchy food items, which put heavy forces on your back teeth.  Hard nuts are a common culprit for broken molars.  Choosing not to eat these types of foods can be tough, but it is a choice that will protect your teeth from damage in the long run.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools

Teeth as toolsThey are so handy, and they are always with you, so it can be tempting to use your teeth as tools.  People use teeth to open packages, cut fishing line, or hold hair pins.  Teeth are fit for chewing and speaking, and that’s it.  When we start using our teeth for other things, we put them at risk for chipping.  We can repair chipped teeth, but the repaired area is always at a higher risk for chipping again, causing you constant problems, especially if you keep using that tooth as a tool.

Trade your Acidic Fizzy Drink for Alkaline Water

Acid is bad for teeth.  Any beverage with a low pH (which is just about everything except water) brings the pH in your mouth into the acidic range.  A normal, healthy mouth should have a pH of neutral or just slightly alkaline.  The body achieves this pH through saliva production.  However, no matter how much saliva you produce, you can override its alkaline influence if you constantly drink acidic beverages.

If you are a chronic soda, sports drink, coffee or tea drinker, try switching from these acidic drinks to an alkaline water.  There are many different brands of bottled water on the market that have an alkaline pH.  These will help you fight bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease, prevent mouth sores and ulcers, and fight bad breath.  Your mouth will thank you for it.

Chew Xylitol-Containing Gum

Xylitol is a natural plant-based sugar shown to fight bacteria int he mouth.  The bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease ingest xylitol, but they cannot digest it, so they die.  When you chew gum that contains xylitol, you not only fight bacteria, you also stimulate the production of saliva.  The stronger the flavor of the gum, the more saliva it will produce when you chew it.

Chewing gum after meals, especially when you cannot brush or floss, will help protect your teeth from dental diseases.

Floss!

Flossing (2)We know you’re tired of hearing this from your dentist, but your teeth and gums really do love it when you floss.  Flossing removes plaque buildup, which is both dangerous and odorous.  When you floss, you are fighting, cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.  Studies show that flossing not only improves your oral health; it actually improves your overall health.  Flossers are less likely to suffer from gum disease, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.  When you floss, you are loving your whole body!

More Questions about Loving Your Smile?

Call 972-347-1145 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara.  They can answer any questions about smiles in general and give you specific tips for your unique areas of concern.

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