5 Fads That Can Damage Your Teeth
The things we do for fashion, eh? Many like to try and modify their bodies in some way, whether through piercings, tattoos, jewelry or dieting, but some of these modifications can cause some serious damage to your teeth. Here are five fads that you may wish to avoid if you want a healthy mouth.
Tongue piercings, like any other piercing, can become infected if not looked after properly. The main danger to teeth, though, comes when people cant help but play with their piercing by pushing the metal up against their teeth. This can cause many problems - from chipped and cracked teeth to the development of gaps between the front teeth - which usually require braces to fix.
Though the risk of serious injury is low, tongue piercings can be slightly more risky than most outer body piercings. Gum trauma, hemorrhages and infections can sometimes result in the possibility of a hefty dental bill occasionally hundreds of dollars of restorative work. It seems a bit silly to risk this for a fashion statement, doesnt it?
Of all the ways to decorate your mouth, tooth jewelry is probably one of the safest. However, there are still some dangers, such as wearing away of tooth enamel, irritating gum tissue and, in some cases, the possibility of allergic reactions to certain metals like nickel. Dental gems, due to their being stuck onto the tooth, can often cause temporary discoloring and stains.
Many people often get so wrapped up in their general health that they forget about their dental health. Little do they realize that the two often go together. Some diets, like ones high in fruit consumption, are likely to lack in vitamin B12, vitamin D and, crucially for teeth, calcium. Add onto this lack of vitamins the high acidic content of most fruits and you have a recipe for tooth decay.
Your favorite rapper might be wearing them, but they probably have the money for dental treatments should something go wrong. Saying that, grills are relatively safe and if looked after properly, shouldn't cause any permanent damage. The main problems with grills are the same as with tooth jewelry - irritated gums, wearing away of tooth enamel and, for sensitive individuals, potential allergic reactions. Due to the size of grills in comparison to tooth jewelry, the gum line is far more likely to be irritated.
Actors and the like will only wear decorative composite teeth for a few hours at a time, and these teeth are professionally made to fit their mouths and are easily removable. This is not the case with off-the-shelf composite teeth like the novelty ones made to look like animal or vampire teeth. Composite teeth may be removable, but they're rather more fixed than costume teeth as they cause more strain to the muscles in the mouth.
Such artificial features were not meant to be in the mouth, and they can produce an overbite that can cause difficulties when eating, as well as headaches and pain. Such false teeth can also make the mouth produce more saliva than normal, further damaging teeth. If you are going to wear such teeth, wear them only occasionally, avoid wearing them while eating, and only wear them for a few hours at a time. This will minimize any potential damage composites could do.
Steve Doyle is a professional dentist at ProDenta.