Approximately 30 percent of older Americans have no natural teeth left. If you want to be part of the other 70 percent, you need to take care of your teeth before it is too late. Regular dental cleanings and dental check ups will go a long way toward maintaining your oral health, but there are some habits to avoid if you want to keep your teeth in the best possible condition as you get older.
1. Chewing on ice seems like a harmless habit, but in fact it is an easy way to chip or crack your teeth.
2. If you engage in any type of contact sport such as hockey, football, or lacross, protect your teeth with a mouth guard to avoid having a tooth chipped or knocked out.
3. Giving your baby a bottle of juice or milk at bedtime or naptime can result in tooth decay. Falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth results in the teeth being bathed in sugars for hours.
4. Drinking too much sugary soda contributes to tooth decay and the acid in soda eats away at tooth enamel.
5. Diet sodas are slightly better than regular soda because they lack the sugar, but they may have higher levels of acid.
6. Similarly, sports drinks and fruit juices are loaded with sugar that attach the teeth.
7. Too much coffee drinking can result in yellow stains on your teeth.
8. Red wine can also discolor your teeth and has acids that eats away at the enamel.
9. White wine is better, but not much. White wine doesn’t stain teeth like red wine, but it contains acids that weaken the enamel and leave it susceptible to staining from other drinks like red wine or coffee.
10. Smoking not only stains your teeth, but it greatly increases your risk for developing gum disease. Smoking also causes oral cancers.
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