You might not believe that old adage “You are what you eat.” After all, you haven’t turned into a hot dog or a cup of coffee yet. However, there is some truth to it. Like your bones, your teeth are mostly made up of minerals, especially calcium. When you consume plenty of calcium, your body can use it to fortify your teeth. Vitamins and antioxidants in your food give your body the tools to fight infection. On the other hand, when you consume lots of sugars and carbohydrates, you are giving the bacteria tools to work with.
Your teeth were designed for chewing food. They are not bottle openers, pencil holders, or ice grinders. When you abuse your teeth, they tend to fight back. In addition to the obvious risk of a broken tooth, these habits can cause premature wear, chips, and fractures that let bacteria enter the tooth.
Sports injuries break teeth. Nighttime grinding wears them down and fracture them. Either problem can be prevented. Talk to your dentist about a protective mouth guard if you play sports. Ask about a bruxism night guard if you grind your teeth.
Most toothaches are caused by deep cavities exposing the nerve, or by infections in your tooth or gums. All of these conditions can be blamed on one culprit: Bacteria. Technically, there are millions of them, and they are always present in your mouth. Brushing, flossing, and seeing us regularly can keep your teeth and gums clean enough that bacteria don’t have a chance to do any damage.
How long has it been since you’ve seen a dentist?
If you’re overdue for a checkup, call Big Smile Dental at 773-772-8400 and schedule an appointment today – and remember, call us ASAP in case of a dental emergency.