Chances are we’ve all said it to our kids at one time or another: “Take that out of your mouth!” But what many of us may not know is that there are plenty of things that adults put in our mouths that can damage teeth and lead to poor oral health. So here are five common things that we put in our mouths that can damage teeth and gums, or promote poor dental hygiene.
- Ice cubes may be good for your garbage disposal, but the same doesn’t hold true for your teeth. Chomping on ice cubes can feel pretty satisfying, but it can also damage tooth enamel and even lead to chipped teeth or a tooth fracture.
- Hard candies not only contain sugar, which can lead to tooth decay since it feeds the bacteria that form plaque, but as with ice cubes, chomping down on hard candies can damage enamel and lead to chips and fractures. And be honest, how many of us really eat hard candies without chomping down on them? Just remember those old commercials about “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”
- Have you ever bitten into a cherry or olive, only to hit what felt like a stone? It’s the pits. So be cautious when eating any fruit with a pit, as hitting that unexpectedly can really do a number on your teeth. Also, use care whenever you’re chewing through a salad or desert item made with either olives or cherries, as sometimes those pits get overlooked by the chef.
- Got something stuck in your teeth? Avoid picking them with sharp metal or plastic objects and instead reach for a toothpick. Leave the tools and the scraping to your friendly (and highly-trained) Overland Park family dentist.
- We’re all guilty of using our mouth or lips to hold small foreign objects when our hands are busy—car keys, coins, nails, thumbtacks, sewing needles, paper clips, you name it. Unfortunately, not only are these objects often loaded with germs (that’s another thing we all say to our kids, isn’t it? “You don’t know where that’s been!”) but a sudden stumble or fall can cause that foreign object to become lodged in your throat. And while we’re on the subject, the remote control also shouldn’t go in or near your mouth. Everybody in the house handles that thing, after all, so it can get really, really gross.
A couple of things that should go in your mouth every day are your toothbrush and floss, which you should supplement with regular visits to your Overland Park dentist. While you may not be able to break yourself of all of your bad oral health habits—who doesn’t enjoy crunching into a hard candy now and again?—regular oral care and hygiene can help make up for a lot.
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. Our friendly office specializes in preventative dental care for the whole family. To make an appointment, please call (913) 338-3384 or click here to fill out our online contact form.