7 Foods That Damage Your Teeth
Everyone knows that eating too much sugar can damage your teeth, but sugar isn’t the only enemy to avoid. When you eat and drink starchy or sugary foods, you are feeding the germs in your mouth that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is a soft, sticky substance containing bacteria that promotes cavities. When you consume these foods, the plaque-causing bacteria turns the sugar into acid. The acid breaks down your tooth enamel over time, and the plaque keeps the acid in place on your teeth. Take care of your teeth by avoiding these 7 foods that damage your teeth.
1. Candy, Especially Sour Candy
When you consume candy, the bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugar and create acids that erode your tooth enamel. Although it’s no secret that candy is bad for your teeth, sour candy is even worse. Sour candy contains additional and different kinds of acids that are tough for your teeth to handle. Plus, sour candy tends to be sticky and will remain on your teeth for a longer time. If you have to have something sweet, consider grabbing a piece of dark chocolate instead. This contains less sugar and can wash down easily.
Alcohol isn’t healthy, bottom line, but what you probably didn’t realize is that it can also damage your teeth. When you drink, you dry out your mouth. A dry mouth lacks saliva, which is needed to keep teeth healthy. Saliva prevents food from remaining on our teeth and washes away any extra food particles. Saliva also helps repair early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other common oral infections. To keep your mouth healthy, drink plenty of water, use fluoride rinses, and try to stay away from alcohol.
This one may come as a surprise, but you may want to reconsider how much bread you eat. When you chew bread, your saliva turns the starches into sugar. The bread turns into a gummy paste-like texture and will stick between your teeth, creating cavities. Try to eat less-refined bread like whole wheat.
Okay, this isn’t technically a food – but don’t chew ice! Chewing on a hard substance, like ice, can damage your enamel and make you more susceptible to chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. You can also loosen your crowns.
Although fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are full of vitamin C, they are also full of acid. The acid in these citrusy fruits can erode your enamel and potentially cause decay. Be cautious of your acid intake, even if it is as small as squeezing a lemon or lime into your water. Drink and eat these fruits in moderation and remember to rinse with water when you are finished.
6. Salty Snacks
Nothing beats the crunch of a potato chip, but unfortunately, chips are full of starch. This starch turns to sugar and can get trapped in between your teeth. This fuels the bacteria and creates plaque. Plus, the acid from the chips lingers in your mouth for a long time. If you can’t help but indulge in a bag of chips, we recommend flossing afterward to remove any remaining particles.
7. Carbonated Beverages
Neither regular nor diet soda is good for your teeth. Soda allows the plaque to produce more acid and harm the tooth enamel. When you drink soda throughout the day, you are coating your teeth with acid. Just like alcohol, soda dries out your mouth, so you have less saliva to rinse your mouth. Dark-colored sodas can also stain and discolor your teeth. When it comes to soda, do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking. This could speed up the decay process.
To keep your teeth healthy and fresh, visit your dentist regularly. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Shades Creek Dental today.