8 Common Mistakes That Are Screwing With Your Teeth

The older I get, the more I realize why people loathe going to the dentist. I think it says less about dentists and more about the nature of teeth weakening as they get older. Regardless, it seems that every time I sit in that way-too-slowly-reclining chair, I get worse and worse news. As it turns out, I have no one to blame but myself — I do things every single day that my dentist wants to wring my neck for. To me, they’re harmless … but not in her opinion.

Here, Blue Bell-based dentist Dr. Mary Puleo gets real about common mistakes you’re probably making that can screw with your teeth in a big way.

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The Trick to Protect Your Teeth From Your LaCroix Addiction (Without Giving It Up)

If you were to peek into my recycling bin on trash day, you would see the signs of a true LaCroix addict: cans upon cans upon CANS of coconut-flavored LaCroix piled high, with the occasional chickpea pasta box thrown in the mix. But mostly LaCroix cans.

My dentist probably wouldn’t approve: Last year, the Atlantic pointed out that the carbonic acid in seltzer or sparkling water (the stuff that gives it that addictive fizz) can wear away at your tooth enamel. One of the dentists they spoke with said that, for the average person, a love for non-sugary carbonated drinks probably wouldn’t be the leading cause for the death of their cavity-free status, but depending on how much sugar and acid is in your diet, it could contribute.

Say it with me: NOOOOOOO. But the good news: As the Huffington Post pointed out yesterday, when it comes to acidic drinks and your teeth, it’s more about how you drink them, not necessarily how much of them you drink.

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The Checkup: How to Tell If Your Breath Stinks

Bad breath happens. If you’re worried it might be happening in your mouth right this very second, breathing into your hand and sniffing won’t give you a definitive answer. Apparently, the best way to tell is your breath is smelling funky is to use a spoon to scrap your tongue, let it dry for a few seconds, then smell. Weird? Yes. Effective? Also yes. [Refinery29]

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Shop Talk: See the Best in Philly Street Style From the Roots Picnic

janelle monae roots picnic

Janelle Monaé at 2014 Roots Picnic | Joe McGee for Phillymag.com

  • Thousands of R&B fans flocked to Festival Pier last weekend as The Roots Picnic swept through town. As usual, stylish Philadelphians showed out in droves, and NY Mag put together a slideshow of the best street style at this year’s Roots Picnic. [The Cut]
  • In a perfect world, you’d be able to show up to work in a velour sweatsuit and house slippers. However, the next best (and kind of socially acceptable) option is leggings. Here’s how to pull off wearing leggings to work. Tip: try pairing them with a menswear-inspired blazer for a totally morning-meeting-appropriate look. [Pop Sugar]

Plus, the dirtiest items in your makeup bag.

The Checkup: The Low-Fat Avocado Variety Sparking Outrage Among Avocado Lovers 

• “Omg I hated it! Watery slimy. Gross.” That, my fellow avocado lovers, is how one Cooking Light editor described the SlimCado, a lower-calorie avocado trying to make it big like Hass, to another Cooking Light editor via text message. And they’re not the only ones disgusted by the SlimCado: There’s an entire Twitter handle — with over 3,000 followers, might I add — solely devoted to hating on the avocado variety. [The Wall Street Journal]
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The Checkup: How to Kill Bad Breath When You Don’t Have a Toothbrush on You

Bad breath happens. And unless you happen to be one of those always-prepared people who keep a toothbrush and toothpaste at the office, there’s a chance that, at some point in life, you’ll need to reach for one of these foods or drinks — like black coffee, surprisingly — that kill bad breath on the spot. [Greatist]
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The Checkup: Is Using Your Significant Other’s Toothbrush Really That Gross?

• I can’t be the only one who’s groggily grabbed their boyfriend’s toothbrush in the morning, scrubbed away at every crevice in their mouth, then — at the very end of the tooth-brushing session — noticed the blue handle and screamed “NOOOOOO.” But, while scrubbing your mouth with someone else’s mouth germs is definitely not ideal, these words straight from a dentist’s mouth might make you feel a bit better: “Sharing a toothbrush is gross, but it’s probably little more harmful than many of the other things that couples and families do.” Phew. That all changes when you share a toothbrush with a stranger though. DON’T do that. [Prevention]
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Is Poor Dental Hygiene a Dating Deal Breaker?

I’m going to go ahead and say sorry for being so nosy in advance: We are totally about to grill you on your dental hygiene habits, from how often you floss to whether or not you’ve ever used your significant other’s toothbrush without telling them (don’t worry, we won’t snitch) to whether or not you think poor dental hygiene is a dating deal breaker. You see, it’s all research for the February issue of Philadelphia magazine, which will feature our Top Dentists list, along with plenty more dental knowledge.

So go ahead, spill! Then be on the lookout for the issue come February to see how you stack up alongside your fellow Philadelphians. Read more »

The Checkup: How to Avoid Stained Teeth from Coffee and Wine



• It seems just about everything good stains your teeth: wine (red and white!), your morning coffee — even tea! But there are some things you can do (that don’t involve $30 at-home whitening strips) to keep your pearly whites as pearly as possible while still enjoying your favorite foods and drinks. Think: chasing wine with whitening foods like apples and celery, brushing with baking soda and more. [Prevention]

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