5 ways you may be harming your smile | TahoeDailyTribune.com

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5 ways you may be harming your smile

At Sierra Smiles Tahoe, we're all about getting and keeping teeth in their best shape possible. But we need your help! There are few things we recommend avoiding, or using in moderation. Check these things that could harm your smile:

1. Medicating — Allergies or a cold can cause annoying coughs. To treat them, we often turn to cough drops. They're a great remedy for relief, but not so great for teeth. They're packed with sugar and sit in the mouth for at least a few minutes, exposing teeth to cavity-causing sugar.

2. Smoking — Besides other whole-body concerns, smoking greatly increases your oral cancer risk. Along with smokeless tobacco, it can cause teeth staining, gum disease and tooth loss.

3.Snacking — When we refer to snacking, we don't mean the handful of nuts you eat between lunch and dinner. We're concerned with all-day snacking. The more food that's consumed, the longer teeth are exposed to it, the more likely bacteria will feed on leftovers remaining in tooth crevices, increasing the chance of cavities.

4.Rehydrating — After a tough workout or during intense sporting, rehydrating with sports drinks is common. They replenish what we lose when we sweat, but also harm teeth. Usually containing a lot of sugar, sports drinks allow bacteria to feed on the sugar creating enamel-eroding acid.

5.Grinding — Whether it's due to stress, an improper bite alignment, or nighttime bruxism, grinding teeth can cause some serious damage like chips, cracks, and worn down teeth. Talk with Sierra Smiles Tahoe to see if a protective mouthguard is right for you.

Always do your part to keep teeth healthy. Make sure to brush twice a day and floss once. Maintain regular checkups with your dentist too. Proper dental care is a must for a healthy, happy smile.

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