5. Limit Sugar
Protecting your teeth means avoiding sugary foods and beverages. Sugar provides a food source for bacteria that reside in your mouth. As these bacteria dine on sugar, they produce acids that wear away the enamel of your teeth. Over time, weak spots in tooth enamel can develop into cavities, or holes in your teeth. Avoid drinking sugary sodas and juices, which bathe your teeth in sugar and provide a feast for cavity-creating bacteria. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and to wash away sugar and food particles from your mouth.
4. Avoid Acidic Beverages
In addition to sugary beverages, watch out for drinks that are highly acidic. The acids in drinks such as sodas, orange juice, and tomato juice can erode your tooth enamel. Wine, cocktails, and mixed drinks may also contain acids that damage your teeth. When consuming acidic drinks, enjoy them along with food to prevent the acids from constant contact with your teeth. Rinse with water after drinking these items, but wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Since acids weaken your teeth, brushing too soon or too vigorously can also damage the weakened enamel.
3. Protect Your Teeth from Trauma
Take care to protect your teeth from injury. If you play sports, wearing a mouth guard can prevent your teeth from damage. There are a variety of mouth guards available. Your dentist can create a mouth guard to custom fit your mouth, or you can find one at your local sporting goods store. If you are prone to grinding your teeth, you may wish to get a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. Avoid using your teeth for anything other than eating food. Refrain from biting your fingernails or using your teeth to open pesky plastic packages.