Like many, you may think oral care boils down to brushing, flossing, and rinsing teeth daily. However, the truth is that caring for your pearly whites involves more than just those tasks. In particular, you also need to keep harmful things out of your mouth. You could end up with a dental emergency otherwise! As for what these objects might be, your local Boston dentist can give you some ideas. Here is a summary of four things you should never put in your mouth and why they’re dangerous for smiles.
Lemons may seem good, but looks can be deceiving. While the fruit is popular to suck on, leaving it in your mouth harms your teeth.
You see, lemons happen to be highly acidic. Sucking on them thus lowers your mouth’s pH balance and causes major enamel erosion. Left unchecked, that process could eventually lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Something else people love to suck (or chew) is ice. For whatever reason, having bits of frozen water in your mouth can feel soothing. Still, you’re better off keeping ice away from your teeth and in your drink.
The issue is that chewing ice cubes can cause tooth fractures. In turn, the fractured teeth may need costly crowns for repairs. As such, you should sip on your chilled beverage or use a straw; either could help you avoid the urge to crunch.
Plastic Bottle Tops
If you struggle to open a plastic bottle, you may feel tempted to use your teeth. Namely, you might want to bite the cap and twist it to loosen it. Even so, you really shouldn’t try this method.
Biting something hard, like a plastic bottle top, can fracture teeth. Even worse, doing so could also cause problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). You’d then suffer jaw aches, clicking sounds, and other symptoms associated with a TMJ disorder (TMD).
Pens or Pencils
So long as they’ve been around, people have chewed on pencils, pens, and other writing utensils. Despite this long history, though, the habit only damages your smile overall. It generates a force that can break teeth in some cases, thus leading to costly restoration treatments.
For a different way to curb your chewing urge, try sugar-free gum. The latter item won’t break anything. Plus, it’ll rid your mouth of harmful oral bacteria by stimulating saliva flow.
In the end, only some things are safe to put in your mouth. Therefore, remember the advice of your Boston dentist and keep the items above out of your oral cavity!
About the Author
Dr. Sharon Schrott is a dentist based in Boston, MA, having earned her dental degrees at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Given her training in prosthodontics, she specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and implant dentistry. She’s thus equipped to handle anything from simple fillings to complicated full-mouth reconstructions. Dr. Schrott currently practices at Kraft & Schrott Dental Associates and is reachable on her website or by phone at (617)-227-4924.