Toothy tips

Tooth enamel is the hardest part of the body, but that doesn’t mean your chompers are indestructible. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to keeping your pearly whites in tip-top shape:

• Don’t brush immediately after every meal. It is ideal to brush three times a day, but wait a bit after eating to avoid scrubbing away tooth enamel that softens during meals.

• Don’t skip your six-month checkup at the dentist. Built-up plaque can form tartar in the teeth, which attracts more plaque on the surface and can cause plaque to creep into your gums.

• Don’t use your teeth as tools. Chewing on ice or opening bottles with your teeth can cause your teeth to crack or break. Ouch!

• Don’t drink a lot of red wine, coffee or tea. The surface of stained teeth tends to have a sandpaper texture that attracts more bacteria.

• Don’t be bulimic, smoke, or abuse methamphetamine or medications. Those activities contribute to tooth and gum decay over time, and they’re bad for you … duh!