Oral health Q&A with Dr. Styrt

It may seem crazy, but there are so many rumors out there about what’s good for your teeth, what’s bad for your teeth, what will make your teeth crooked, what will discolor your teeth, and so on. Below are are answers to some of the most frequent questions Dr. Styrt and our staff always hear from patients. We hope you find this informational! Happy Monday!

Q: Which foods and drinks are actually healthy for my teeth?

A: Fruits and vegetables are good for anyone’s teeth. Milk is especially good for growing children’s teeth, and water and natural fruit juices are healthy drink choices as well.

Q: Can fingernail biting cause damage to my teeth? What about lip biting or biting the ends of pencils?

Yes…it can cause chipping and fractures of the enamel. Lip biting can cause the teeth to move, and biting anything else (pencils, pens, etc.) can cause damage to the teeth and braces.

Q: It’s said that the changing seasons can have an effect on your body and joints. Can the seasons changing also have an effect on the way my mouth feels, especially during orthodontic treatment?

Some people can get more frequent cold sores or canker sores during the Autumn/Winter months.

Q: Can hard candies or hard mints cause damage to my teeth?

Yes…especially if you bite down hard on them!

Q: Now that I’m wearing braces, I miss chewing gum. Can I still chew sugar-free gum with braces on?

We do not recommend gum chewing, as it contributes to sore jaw muscles and TMD symptoms in some patients.

Q: Is a soft toothbrush or a medium toothbrush better for my teeth and gums?

Soft always!

Q: Are spicy or acidic foods bad for my teeth?

Acidic foods can be harmful to the enamel of our teeth if they aren’t brushed off very soon after eating them.

Q: If I play sports and use a mouth guard can constantly biting down on the hard rubber eventually cause my teeth to shift and become crooked?

It could, but only if done repeatedly and for long periods of time. However, the benefit of wearing a mouth guard will out-weigh any negatives!

Q: If my wisdom teeth came in straight, do I still need to get them removed?

Not necessarily. If the third molars erupt into occlusion and can be maintained and kept clean, we normally recommend that they be kept. Unfortunately, this is only the case in less than 10% of all Americans!