Often times, we do not think about the full effects of the foods we eat. We might realize they are unhealthy for us and could cause us to gain a few extra pounds, but we may not think about how these foods affect other aspects of the body. The health of our teeth is one thing we rarely consider.
There are many foods that can cause problems with your teeth, many of which you don’t know about. Most of us know that sugary candy can lead to cavities and biting on hard candies could break a tooth, but what about some of the other foods we eat daily? How do they affect our teeth?
At Aspen Hill Dental in Wheat Ridge, we believe that when you are well informed you will make better decisions to help keep your teeth healthy! That is why we are going to talk about some of the worst foods for your teeth and why they can cause a problem. While it can be hard to cut these foods out completely, being aware of them could help you reduce the amount you eat and keep your teeth healthy. If you need to schedule a teeth cleaning or want to learn more about our dental services, be sure to contact our office today or request an appointment online!
While candy, in general, is not good for your teeth, sticky and gummy candies are especially bad for those pearly whites. This is because the stickiness causes pieces of the candy to stick to your teeth and hang around in your mouth for too long. This means that the sugars in candy can cling to your teeth and cause more damage. The sugar from candy mixes with bacteria and produces acids in your mouth, which leads to tooth decay. While it can be hard to avoid candy entirely, try to avoid the types that will stick around in your mouth for a longer period of time, such as gummies, lollipops, and caramels.
While no candy is great for your teeth, sour candy is one you should definitely avoid, especially if it is sticky and sour candy. That’s a dentist’s worst nightmare. Sour candy is bad because it contains more acids that are tough on your teeth. The mix of extra acids, sugar, and stickiness can cause your teeth a ton of harm.
Hard candy is bad for your teeth because it can chip your tooth! If you chew hard candies, you are increasing the risk of chipping your tooth and damaging your enamel. But chewing hard candies isn’t the only problem! If you let them melt in your mouth, this goes back to the danger of candies that hang around in your mouth for too long. This allows the sugars and bacteria to produce harmful chemicals and start wreaking havoc on your teeth!
This one may be surprising and extremely disappointing, but bread can actually be harmful for your teeth. This is because the starches are broken down by your saliva and turned into sugar. Bread, especially white breads, turns into a gummy paste in your mouth and can become stuck in the crevices of your teeth, which can lead to cavities. If you can’t say no to bread, try to choose whole wheat options that are less refined than white breads, meaning they contain less added sugars.
While many citrusy foods, including oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, are healthy and packed full of vitamins, they can actually be harmful to your teeth. The acid that is found in citrus fruits can cause enamel to erode, which increases the risk of tooth decay. If you enjoy one of these juicy and delicious fruits from time to time, just be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward. Even squeezing a lemon into your water can be harmful and is actually exposing your teeth to acids for an extended period of time, which can be even worse for your pearly whites.
Many people view dried fruit as a healthy snack, but what you may not realize is that this seemingly harmless treat can actually negatively impact your teeth. The issue with dried fruit is that they are very sticky and high in sugar. The natural sugars and non-soluble cellulose fiber found in dried fruit makes these snacks just as bad for your teeth as chewy and sticky candy. Opt for fresh fruit rather than dried fruit. Since the sugar is less concentrated in fresh fruit, they will do less harm to your teeth.
Potato chips are loaded with starch. That starch is broken down and turned into sugar, which gets trapped between teeth and feeds the bacteria in the plaque. This can lead to tooth decay. While it can be hard to say no to potato chips, just be sure to rinse your mouth and floss after eating them to remove any particles that are trapped between teeth.
Carbonated drinks, such as soda, are another thing you should avoid consuming as much as possible. These drinks are very high in sugar and can coat your teeth, which leads to tooth decay. More acids are produced by plaque when you drink carbonated beverages, which attacks tooth enamel and can lead to cavities. Soda also dries out your mouth, which causes less saliva to be produced, which means that your mouth is not effectively protecting your teeth. If these issues were not enough to stop you from drinking carbonated beverages, we will add one more! Darker sodas can also stain your teeth, making those pearly whites much less white.
Alcohol isn’t exactly good for us in general, but did you know it can be an issue for your teeth? Alcohol can dry your mouth out and reduce the amount of saliva you are producing. Saliva is important when it comes to a healthy mouth. It helps to keep food from sticking to your teeth and washes down food particles. Saliva can even help fight early signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral infections. Sugary alcoholic beverages are even worse since you are soaking your teeth in sugar as you drink them.
More Foods to Avoid
There are many foods and drinks that are bad for your teeth. The ones listed above are only a few of the most popular. But we wanted to give you a list of some of the other foods and drinks you should avoid in order to keep your teeth healthy. These includes:
- Sports drinks
- Energy drinks
- Fruit juice
While we don’t expect you to cut these items out of your diet completely, understanding that they can harm your teeth can help you better care for your pearly whites. Just limit your consumption of some of these, rinse your mouth, and be sure to schedule regular teeth cleanings in order to keep your mouth as healthy as possible!
Caring for your teeth is more than just brushing and flossing daily. You need to think about what you are eating and drinking, as well as many other things. At Aspen Hill Dental in Wheat Ridge, we can help ensure that your teeth are healthy and clean. Contact us to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment online today!