5 ways you could be ruining your teeth

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- When it comes to keeping our teeth healthy, brushing and flossing daily are essential to protecting our pearly whites. But there are some mistakes you could be making without realizing. So here are five ways you could be ruining your teeth.

Check out more on this list from Yahoo! Shine: 7 Surprising Ways You're Ruining Your Teeth

1. Brushing too hard - If you brush too vigorously you can wear away at your enamel and cause sensitivity and gum recession. Many dentists recommend moving the brush in small circles and not side to side.

2. Using the wrong toothpaste - The FDA rates toothpastes using a "relative dentin abrasion" scale. Anything above 100 is considered abrasive and above 200 is not recommended. To be on the safe side, ask your dentist about what type of toothpaste to use.

3. Eating too many acidic foods - We're talking about sodas, orange juice, wine, sport drinks, lemons and more. They can wear away the top protective layer of your teeth, known as enamel, which can never grow back. To protect that layer - swish some water around in your mouth immediately after consuming these foods.

4. Using them as a tool - Many of us are guilty of doing this, using our chompers to open nail polish bottles or crush a piece of ice. This kind of abuse can create micro-fractures that may not be apparent for years.

5. Chasing hot food with a cold drink - For example, when you bite into a piece of hot pizza you're expanding your enamel. If you immediately take a big gulp of cold soda - it could cause a contraction that leads to breaks and stains in the enamel. One solution: use a straw and sip your cold drink slowly.


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