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Two Unexpected Ways to Be Kind to Your Teeth

Dental health is important for a variety of reasons, and the two that top my list are:

  1. When my teeth hurt, eating is painful and I like to eat.
  2. Dental work is expensive and I would rather spend my money on something fun.

Aside from the proactive activities of brushing and flossing, there are two rather surprising things you should avoid to help keep your teeth in tip-top shape.

Nail biting is the more obvious of the two tooth-damaging activities. It can wear down your teeth, aging them prematurely. Nail biting mainly stresses the front teeth. Not only are the front teeth the most visible ones in our mouth, these teeth were designed for cutting and not chewing and are not strong enough to be used constantly.

To see the other culprit,


Often considered health food, smoothies can actually do a doozy on your teeth. Smoothies often contain high levels of both sugar and acid – a combination that can lead to the decay of tooth enamel. Unfortunately, brushing your teeth immediately after drinking a smoothie can cause even more damage to the already weakened enamel. Your best bet is to brush your teeth prior to having a smoothie, but then I can't imagine it would taste very good.


Join The Conversation
anne_ anne_ 9 years
Is there really a way to build enamel up? I had no idea.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
It makes sense but....SMOOTHIES?!?! :O
hkmarks hkmarks 9 years
For about 2 years I had unexplained pain in my molars. My dentist eventually figured out that I was holding my teeth together as a matter of course... apparently, they're never supposed to touch. He also suggested rinsing with water after juice, soda, candy, or fruit.
buffyanne buffyanne 9 years
Perhaps a post-smoothie rinse would do the trick? I don't know much about chemistry, but it seems that an oral rinse would neutralize the acids. What do you say, Sugar?
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i had no idea about nail biting. reat, i bite my nails constantly.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
BUt what specific kind of smoothie does this apply to? I have doubts about my own doing that to teeth and I don't put sugar in mine. It only has sugar from the fruit.
HappyKate HappyKate 9 years
everything is bad for your teeth
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
Make your own smoothie and then you know it's not full of sugar. I make mine with whey protein (no sugar, no artificial sweeteners), a banana, frozen strawberries, and water...maybe some yogurt if I have some.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Same here -- I didn't know smoothies were bad for teeth. I don't drink them, but it's good to know.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I never really thought about nail biting.
lovealways lovealways 9 years
Smoothies? Wow, never heard that one before. I don't particularly love them so that's a good thing ;) I'm a chronic nail-biter though, looks like I'll have to break that habit!
underyourwaves underyourwaves 9 years
Oh no! I had no idea smoothies were bad for your teeth. :(
emalove emalove 9 years
Good to know! Dental health is very important to me.
Emdance Emdance 9 years
Oh man I am horrible I bite my nails and can't stop. I have done it since I was a baby. This article, yet another reason to stop!
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
i KNEW you were going to say nail biting, before I even got to that sentence, and I instantly looked down at my freshly bitten nails. eek
Rose-Cullen Rose-Cullen 9 years
Nail bitting seemed a bit obvious but I had no idea that smoothies were bad for your teeth! :JAWDROP: That bad because I love smoothies...:(
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
It is so ironic you posted this. I have had some super sensitivity over this one front tooth for the past day or so. I was told by my hygenist I have super thin enamel so I need to figure out a way to build it up.
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