Ask the Doctor: Summer Habits - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

Ask the Doctor: Summer Habits

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Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014 10:15 am

The heat of the summer and the traditions that go along with summer time often come with some habits that are good and bad for the teeth

What are some sugar habits that damage your teeth?

Sticky candies, sugary popsicles, and some sticky fruit can support the bad bacteria in the mouth, and if not properly taken care of will decay the teeth. If a person has sugar on a very frequent basis, acid will build up and corrode the teeth.

What types of beverages erode teeth?

Soda, whether sugar-free or not, is bad for the teeth. It is very acidic, which will cause eroding to occur. Soda water, club soda, juices with added sugar, and energy drinks are all packed full with sugar. Alcoholic beverages are also bad as they are acidic and have the ability to dry the mouth. A dry mouth causes more decay.

What other bad habits can ruin your teeth?

Tobacco habits of any kind can cause oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pharyngeal or oral cancer. Daytime clenching and grinding of teeth is also bad as it weakens the teeth. If the teeth are already weak, then they can easily break from eating ice, snapping off bottle caps, removing clothing tags, opening plastic bags, etc.

What are some good habits that can help teeth stay healthy?

Avoid having sugary foods or drinks frequently throughout the day. Drink lots of water to keep a neutral environment in the mouth and to help wash the sugary treats away. Eat all foods in moderation and not frequently throughout the day. This allows time for the saliva to neutralize in the mouth, which will minimize acid. Protect your teeth with a mouth guard if you or your dentist finds you clenching or grinding. Lastly be sure to brush and floss your teeth a minimum of two times per day to help rid of the bacteria and plaque left behind from your tasty day.

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