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Taking care of your teeth should occur at all times throughout the day. Although you need to brush a few minutes a day twice daily and floss a few minutes per day, your teeth are still vulnerable. Never put your mouth in harm’s way if it can be avoided. Listed below are some ideas to help you better protect and care for your smile:

What types of foods and snacks can damage your teeth?
– Many ingredients in food can increase the rate at which tooth decay and gum disease can occur because bacteria in plaque can convert these particles into acids that can eat through tooth enamel. This includes sugary foods, chewy and gummy foods that stick to the teeth and gums, starchy foods, and sour candies with high acidic content. Exercise caution with hard foods and candies that can chip and crack teeth.

TRUE or FALSE: Chewing on pen caps or pencil erasers can strengthen your teeth.
– This is false. Chewing on non-edible foods can chip or crack your teeth, cut your gums, and even cause joint damage including TMJ disorders.

Which activities or habits are considered risky for your oral health?
– If you are playing any type of contact sport or event, always wear the proper safety gear including mouth guards, facemasks, and head gear. Also, avoid opening products with your mouth, and avoid smoking or chewing tobacco, chewing on ice, and biting your nails, as these can all damage your smile.

Can mouth piercings be bad for your teeth and gums?
– Yes, mouth piercings can become choking hazards if knocked loose, they can chip and crack teeth, and they can cause serious infections.

To learn more about bad habits and oral health dangers, contact Dr. Andrew W Henritze, DDS and our team at Andrew Henritze DDS by calling us at (540) 989-6600. If you would like an oral exam or bi-annual professional cleaning, our dentist office is located in Roanoke, Virginia. We are here to proudly keep you and smile healthy and happy.