What Not to Do to Your Teeth
So you think your teeth are strong. They can handle anything, right? Wrong. While you may be tempted to use your teeth as a household tool or stress relief aid, think again. You could be damaging your teeth beyond repair. A recent poll of local dentists to find out some of the worst (and wackiest) dental habits they have seen in patients.
Warning: do not try these at home!
- Cleaning teeth with Comet, bleach or other household cleaners. Household cleaners are abrasive and will wear down the enamel of your teeth. Some cleaners are poisonous.
- Chewing toenails. Your teeth are for chewing food and speaking. Use a nail file or clippers to keep your mouth…and your feet…safe from bacteria.
- Using "crazy glue"for loose dental work. Super-strong glue will still dissolve over time. See your dentist for long-term solution for loose dental work.
- Opening beer bottles with teeth. This can break the tooth; get that bottle opener out of the drawer!
- Sucking on lemons. This is sometimes done with the misguided goal to whiten teeth or freshen breath. But, the citric acid will break down the enamel on your teeth and cause sensitivity and decay.
- Filing teeth(real & fake) with a nail file. You can risk taking too much of the tooth and damaging the tooth. See your dentist if the shape of the tooth doesn't seem right.
- Flossing with household items. Dentists have seen people floss with objects including hair, needles, credit cards, paper, and rubber bands. These things can break in your mouth and put you at risk for injury and infection. Hard items like paperclips will wear away enamel when used repeatedly and can even chip your tooth.
- Rinsing with acidic liquids. Just like sucking on lemons, sloshing liquids like vinegar, orange juice or soda in your mouth will wear away teeth and cause decay. Your best bet is a mouthwash containing fluoride or xylitol.
- Removing teeth with pliers/power tools. Yep, leave this to the professional! Doing it yourself risks infection, broken teeth, and bone damage to your jaw.
- Chewing pens. This can fracture teeth, leading to otherwise unnecessary dental treatment, besides maybe swallowing some ink. There are safer ways to relieve stress and fight boredom. Preserve your teeth for their real jobs: talking and chewing food.
If you would like your smile to be attractive and healthy, Dr Treva Diane Lee can be reached at 559-921-4693 or visit her website www.TrevaLeeDDS.com for free reports!