Mouth Guards - If you play sports, mouth guards
are critical to protecting your smile. These devices typically cover
the upper teeth, and are designed to protect against broken teeth,
cut lips and other damage to your mouth. If you wear braces or other
fixed dental appliances (such as a bridge) on your lower jaw, your
dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.
Nutrition - Nutrition plays a key role in your
dental health. The sugars and starches in many snack foods and soft
drinks support the formation of plaque, which destroys tooth enamel.
Its more work for us - but its not work we want! We would rather
you had great looking teeth. It's never too late to limit the number
of snacks you eat and drink. Your friends aren't likely to point
out your discoloured teeth or bad breath - that's why they are your
friends. But it's good to know that each time you consume fast foods
and drinks that contain sugars or starches, your teeth are attacked
by acids for over 20 minutes. That's a lot of time over the years!
Eating a well-balanced diet can make a big difference to your dental
health. You don't have to be a saint - just don't be a fool.
Smoking - If you don't smoke or chew tobacco,
don't start. In addition to other health problems, smoking does
stain your teeth and gums, stain the tartar build-up on your teeth
and contribute to 'orrible breath. In the long run, chewing tobacco,
and cigarettes both increase your risk of developing oral cancer
and gum disease.
Oral Piercing - Despite its popularity, oral piercing
can sometimes be bad news. Complications such as infections, bleeding
and nerve damage are not uncommon. You can also choke on studs or
barbells that come loose, and any metal jewellery can also chip
or crack teeth and damage your gums if you are hit in the mouth.
If you're considering oral piercing, just make sure you are informed
so that you can make the best choice for you. Fads come and go -
teeth are for life.