A healthy diet contributes to good overall health. It promotes a healthy immune system, boosts energy, and reduces the risks of health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. On the other hand, certain foods can damage our oral health. Here are a few such foods.
When it comes to oral health, hard candies are one of the worst offenders. This sticky substance is a nightmare for teeth and also promotes tooth decay and cavities. It sticks to the teeth longer than other sweets and eventually forms a solid coating over the enamel that demands the attention of your hygienist upon your next visit. Because this type of confection is difficult to remove from your teeth, it also increases the risk of staining. Regular brushing can further exacerbate this condition by damaging the protective coating of plaque on your teeth.
To protect yourself against this unfortunate situation, avoid eating hard candies and other similarly structured treats such as lollipops. If you do consume one of these items, be sure to brush and floss as soon as possible to prevent their effects.
Candy and caramels are sticky confections. Though they may not look very appetizing, they’re a favorite treat for many people. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the worst foods for oral health.
Both candy and caramels stick to the teeth very easily. If they’re not brushed away immediately, the sugars in the candies can lead to tooth decay. The sugar on the candies also feeds plaque bacteria in the mouth that then release acids onto the tooth enamel. Over time, this can wear down the enamel causing cavities to form. Additionally, the stickiness of candies and other sweets can make it easier for food particles to get trapped between the teeth and around the gum lines. These particles can then promote the development of gum disease.
Lemons and grapefruits are acidic, which can damage tooth enamel and irritate your gums. They’re also sugary and sticky. These foods can get stuck in the crevices of your teeth, leading to cavities. If you can’t avoid citrus fruits, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after consuming them. And be sure to get in the habit of brushing at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
The sugar and acid in soda can erode tooth enamel and weaken teeth. Additionally, the phosphoric acid found in many sodas can soften tooth enamel. Combined with sugar, this makes soda one of the top contributors to cavities in the United States. Sugary drinks should be consumed in moderation or not at all. Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking a sugary beverage can help prevent decay.
When drinking soda, drink it quickly and don’t sip it throughout the day. If you do choose to drink a soda, use a straw to minimize direct contact with your teeth. A straw will also minimize the amount of time that the sugars are in contact with your teeth. Try to avoid soda as much as possible and drink water instead. Water helps wash away food particles and also promotes saliva production, which helps to naturally clean the mouth.
While sports drinks contain important vitamins and minerals that the body requires, these beverages are also filled with sugar. Sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth and contributes to the development of cavities and gum disease. Additionally, the acidic nature of sports drinks can erode tooth enamel. Consider substituting sports drinks for water or milk after a workout.
To learn more about good oral care, you can schedule your appointment with our dentist by calling us at (512) 358-1215 or visiting our dental office. We will be happy to guide you further.