Monday, March 2, 2015

20 Things That Can Ruin Your Smile (Part 5)

smile-toothbrushBrushing at the wrong time

Although we've been taught to brush after every meal, depending on what you eat or drink, that's not always the best advice.

"After consuming high-acid food or drinks, like wine, coffee, citrus fruits, and soft drinks, rinse with water to neutralize the acids, but wait an hour before reaching for the toothpaste," says Meinecke.

"Brushing teeth immediately after drinking carbonated drinks and acidic foods can cause erosion."

smile-dentistOverzealous whitening

It is not clear whether bleaching erodes tooth enamel, but it can increase sensitivity, especially when done too often.

Even at-home whitening treatments should be used with moderation, as some whitening toothpastes and gels contain abrasive ingredients that can increase tooth sensitivity, which can be painful.

Plus, as you get older, whitening products can only do so much, so after a certain point, using more won't necessarily do anything for your smile.

soda-smileSoft drinks

Soft drinks are chock-full of sugar, which puts you at a risk for cavities, tooth decay, and gum infections, and dark colas can also stain your teeth, leaving you with a lackluster smile.

Meinecke recommends drinking soda through a straw and rinsing with water or chewing sugar-free gum after consumption to neutralize the acids.

She also recommends waiting at least an hour before brushing.


Citrus and acidic food

"Although lemons, grapefruits, and citrus juices don’t directly cause cavities, like soft drinks, they contain acids, which cause erosion of the tooth enamel, weakening the tooth and making it prone to decay," says Meinecke.

Waiting to brush, rinsing your mouth with water, or chewing sugar-free gum can help. In particular, consider xylitol, a natural sweetener found in plants and fruits that was FDA approved as a food additive in 1986.

Found in sugar-free gum, mints, and toothpastes, xylitol can inhibit the cavity-causing oral bacteria. "Dentists will often recommend patients chew at least two pieces per day if they are at high risk for developing cavities," explains Meinecke.

Make sure to check with one of our skilled dentists before you change any of your dental habits. We have three locations around Austin for your convenience. 


  1. Yes i totally agree on what you have shared. Eating healthy food will help to keep our teeth healthy and after brushing, flossing is also necessary to remove food particles and avoid having cavities.

    Cosmetic dentist in Brantford

  2. Short and precise but very essential tips which people easily tend to forget. Well, but one shouldn't avoid seeing a dentist as well. I came across this video of where a patient shares his experience at Dentzz and scheduled my appointment with them. Now, I am happy with my healthy teeth.