Keeping up good oral hygiene is essential for a healthy body. One of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy is to avoid eating foods that can damage them. Here are some foods and beverages that can damage your smile.
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about this one, as hard candies are a type of food that is simply bad for your teeth. The reason is simple – the sticky texture of the candy creates the perfect environment for plaque-causing bacteria to stick to your teeth and gums. So not only does the sugar in the candy feed the bacteria in your mouth, but the stickier texture keeps the sugar in contact with the tooth surface for longer periods of time than other types of sweets. This ultimately results in tooth decay.
The longer the sugar stays in contact with your tooth enamel, the higher the risk of cavity formation. The sticky texture helps it stay on your teeth and gums longer, and the enzymes from the mouth help break the sugar down more quickly as well. This leads to a higher acid content in the mouth which can damage the teeth. Additionally, young children tend to eat more of this candy due to the stickiness factor. They may not realize the importance of limiting the amount they eat or the consequences of doing so. And therefore are more likely to suffer cavities as a result.
Sodas and soft drinks are some of the worst beverages for your dental health. They have one of the highest acidic contents and are famous for staining your teeth. Even diet sodas are unhealthy for your teeth. They contain acids that harm your enamel and cause cavities over time. Don't drink soda regularly if you want healthy teeth for longer. Try to limit yourself to one glass of soda per week at the most.
Coffee and tea
Caffeinated beverages are some of the biggest culprits of staining teeth. The tannins in tea and coffee have very strong chemical bonds that latch onto the tooth enamel and cause stains. Additionally, the acidity in coffee can erode enamel over time and lead to increased sensitivity.
Instead of these drinks, drink water to hydrate throughout the day.
Alcoholic beverages, like wine and beer, contain a large amount of acid, which can wear away enamel. After drinking alcoholic beverages, it is best to rinse your mouth with water and brush as soon as possible. If you do indulge and have a dry mouth, be sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate your mouth.
Some sports drinks and energy drinks tend to contain citric or phosphoric acids. Citric acid can erode tooth enamel, leaving teeth more vulnerable to cavities and other damage. Phosphoric acid can make tooth enamel more brittle, increasing the risk of tooth decay and sensitivity. Both of these acids can also affect the health of your gums by causing redness and inflammation.
If you drink sports or energy drinks frequently throughout the day, talk to your dentist about ways you can protect your teeth. Drink water after consuming acidic beverages to wash away the acid and help restore the pH balance in your mouth. You should also wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth. Brushing immediately after an acidic beverage can cause more damage than it prevents. If your teeth are sensitive, brush with a desensitizing toothpaste to protect your teeth and prevent further pain.
Citrus fruits and juices
Acidic in nature, citrus contains acid that can wear away tooth enamel if consumed too often or in too large of a quantity. If you drink juice often, consider diluting it with water to lessen the damage.
Aside from acidic fruit juice, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit can also damage your tooth enamel due to their high acidity levels. These fruits also contain enamel-eating whiteners called tannins and chromogens. The fruits' pits are also highly abrasive, so it's best to avoid consuming them altogether. If you do consume these fruits, make sure to brush your teeth immediately after eating them with fluoride toothpaste and water. You should also rinse your mouth out well with water to reduce the level of acidity in your mouth.
While dried fruits are certainly a healthy alternative to other snacks, they are also high in sugar, which can lead to decay. Their sticky texture also makes them more likely to get stuck in between teeth and cause cavities. If you do choose to eat dried fruit, be sure to brush afterward and consider rinsing with water if you can't brush right away.
Visit Rosemont Dental Center, 2090 Old Farm Dr #C, Frederick, MD 21702, or contact the Dentist in Frederick, MD, by calling us at (301) 663-1144 to learn more about dental fillings.