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Over time, the woman's natural teeth had worn to the point she needed porcelain veneers. Find a bottle opener or pair of scissors. And if you're sailing, use your hands.
"I didn't want my teeth to get worse," Lazarus says. He has since spent $2,000 on laminates for his two front upper teeth.
Aside from cutting back, Gross recommends using a straw, when possible, so staining liquids bypass your teeth.
"Make sure you wait 30 to 60 minutes after each meal, which gives the acidity time to neutralize and the teeth time to remineralize," says Debra Gray King, DDS, FAACD, of the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry.
Brushing too much, too hard, or with a hard bristle brush can also erode your enamel. Brush gently, using circular strokes and a soft brush.
"People tend to do some wild things with their teeth," King says. She recalls a patient in her 50s who habitually gripped the ropes of her sailboat's mast between her teeth.
the gums, which can lead to tooth loss.
"Anytime there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces, it is advisable to wear a mouthguard. Players who participate in basketball, softball, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, in line skating, and martial arts, as well as recreational sports such as skateboarding and bicycling, should wear mouthguards while competing," the AGD's web site states.
"You need to brush and floss your teeth every time you eat," says Jeffrey Gross DDS, FAGD, a Cleveland dentist. "The longer food stays in contact with the teeth and the gums, the easier it is to create problems."
6. Tooth to tooth clenching can wear down teeth and "make you look 10 to 20 years older," King Nike Uptempo V Camo
3. This allows plaque to form tartar, which attracts more plaque on its surface, carrying the plaque deeper within the gums. This can weaken supporting structures, such as bone.
15 Ways to Wreck Your Teeth and Damage Tooth Enamel
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As wine editor for Dish magazine, Yvonne Lorkin of Christchurch, New Zealand, tastes thousands of wines each year. At 37, she spends more on dental upkeep than people twice her age.
1. But if you do it too soon, you can scrub away tooth enamel that becomes softer in the acidic environment created in your mouth when you eat.
Gums bleed when you brush vigorously? That's a sign of mild gingivitis, or inflammation of Nike More Uptempo Olympic Foot Locker
"The sooner you find issues, the easier and a lot less expensive they will be to address," King says.
If you have very sensitive teeth, gum disease, or worn enamel, "your dentist may discourage whitening," says Supreme Nike Uptempo Black Charles H. and a spokesman for the AGD. Check before starting any whitening treatment.
9. Desensitizing toothpaste can help.
Grinding also paves the way for cavities. "Aside from causing pressure and fractures, grinding wears away the top layer of enamel and the lower levels of enamel beyond the dentin, which can lead to decay," Gross says. Can't stop? Get fitted for a mouthguard.
10. Stick with fluoridated tap water since it's "the most cost effective way to prevent cavities and fight tooth decay," Perle says. If your water isn't fluoridated, your dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.
7. Fruit juices often contain sugar but compared to soda and sports drinks, are "a healthier choice" and water is even better yet, Gross says.
"The constant onslaught of acid on my enamel is an occupational hazard, I guess, as we're swilling the wines around in our mouths rather than just swallowing," Lorkin tells WebMD in an email interview.
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MDTeeth are tough their enamel is the hardest part of the body but they're no match for neglect, misuse, or abuse. Here are some surefire ways to find out how vulnerable your teeth are trust us, you don't want to do this:
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