Did you ever think about how your daily habits can affect the health of your smile?
The fact is, many of the most common activities that Americans love may be taking a toll on your teeth without you even realizing it. The extremely popular activities of working out, vaping, and visiting a cafe can each affect your smile in different subtle ways. Explore how our habits impact our oral health and consider which of your actions may be affecting your oral health.
How Our Choices Affect Our Oral Health
It’s clear that our daily decisions can turn a harmless experience into a reckless one that jeopardizes the health of your smile. For example, it’s possible to workout or visit a cafe without harming your teeth – it’s just the choices made while at the gym or cafe that can potentially cause a problem. When these choices become habits, the effects are even more evident.
What Dental Problems Can Arise from Working Out?
There’s no doubt about it – exercising regularly is great for you and is recommended by every physician on the planet. However, as evidenced by Olympians at the past few Olympic Games, there are habits associated with physical training that can wreak havoc on your teeth. In one study of 278 athletes, 75% had diseased gums and 55% had cavities. If working out is such a healthy part of life, then what is it about this training that ruined the teeth of so many athletes?
1. Choosing sugary sports drinks to hydrate instead of water
2. Eating sugar-packed protein bars and sports snacks
3. Heavy-breathing causes dry mouth and should be treated with water
Each of the three reasons above shows how the working out process can affect your smile, but they have something else in common as well. By avoiding sugar and choosing to hydrate with water, none of those problems will affect you. Consider bringing your own reusable bottle of water and choosing snacks that are low in sugar for your gym visits.
Does Vaping Cause Problems for Your Teeth?
Vaping is the new safer alternative to smoking tobacco, and there are currently over 20 million people who use vaping products in the world. While vaping hasn’t been around long enough to see how it affects users in the long term, there are a few important facts we know about how it can impact your oral health:
1. Nicotine causes gums to recede, increasing risk of gum disease
2. Heat from vaping causes dry mouth, leaving it vulnerable
3. Nicotine is a stimulant and can aggravate bruxism in those who are prone to it
Vaping is definitely a better alternative than smoking cigarettes, but that’s not to say there aren’t consequences to your smile. If you choose to use vaping products, it’s recommended to be aware of any changes in the way your teeth look or feel.
How Can a Trip to the Cafe Harm Your Smile?
Did you know that Americans consume 10.2 lbs of coffee per capita? While a lot of this is made at home, local cafes and major coffee shops also make up a large share of it. Whether your preference is to go to your local cafe or to hit up one of the many Starbucks, the coffee shop is a place where good or bad decisions can be made regarding your teeth.
1. Specialty coffee drinks are typically full of sugary syrups
2. Pastries and other cafe food often has a high sugar content
3. Black coffee can be good for the teeth due to tannins, but may also stain them
Your trip to the cafe doesn’t have to take a toll on your smile. By choosing healthier options like salads and black coffee rather than scones and caramel macchiatos, you can have a fun time at your local cafe without doing any damage to your teeth.
Our Habits Determine the Health of Our Smile
It’s not just the quality of our brushing and flossing routines that affects our teeth. Each day, many of the activities we engage in may be impacting your smile. If seemingly harmless habits like working out and visiting the cafe can pose a threat, it’s easy to see how your habits can cause various problems if left unchecked. If you have questions about whether your habits are helpful or harmful, or you’re simply ready for your next dental appointment, don’t hesitate to contact our team in Charleston, SC. Dr. Dillard is looking forward to meeting you.