O’Fallon Dentist Explains How Different Substances Can Damage Your Smile

Written by Dr. Brace on Dec 20, 2016

Protecting your smile over the long-term means being thoughtful about the types of substances you allow to sit on your teeth. Different types of foods and drinks can lead to damage and discoloration over time. In this short article, our O’Fallon dentists are giving you some more information about how various substances may affect your smile.

Tobacco Products

Let’s get this out of the way first—all tobacco products are bad for your smile, and will negatively affect your teeth over time. When you use tobacco products, you are an increased risk of suffering from gum disease, tooth loss, and jawbone tissue deterioration. Tobacco decreases the blood flow to your oral tissues, and make it difficult for your mouth to fight infections and heal. Plus, tobacco products cause dental enamel staining—so your smile will start to look yellow and dark over time.

Acidic Substances

There are a number of very popular foods and drinks that are quite acidic: soft drinks, coffee, wine, fruit juices, citrus fruits, and more. When your dental enamel is exposed to these acidic things, it softens and becomes more prone to erosion. So, make sure that you do not brush your teeth for at least twenty to thirty minutes after consuming something acidic. You can also rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking to help neutralize acid.

Hard Foods

Many people make the mistake of chomping on hard candies, mints, and ice. These substances are too hard for your dental enamel to handle, and chewing on these things regularly can cause small cracks and chip in the dental enamel. Often, these cracks are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye, but these weak spots become prime spots for bacteria to accumulate.

If you have questions about how to protect your smile day to day, please feel free to contact our O’Fallon dentists for more information!