Eating all the foods you enjoy is important, but you should also consider what the food you eat does to your body. Most individuals diet to enhance their appearance, but unfortunately, few people think about managing the types of foods they eat to preserve their teeth. The following are 10 foods you should try to avoid to maintain your oral health.
1) Soda and Carbonated Soft Drinks
Most people are aware that drinking soda is detrimental to their teeth. Even diet alternatives, typically considered healthier, may be harmful if consumed excessively. Drinks such as lemonade, soda, and sports drinks provide a sugar bath for your teeth, causing tooth decay. All carbonated beverages have acids that can erode your teeth’ enamel outer layer.
Soda and carbonated beverages are not recommended by most dentists. If you must consume a soda, drink through a straw so that your front teeth aren’t exposed to the sweet liquid. Also, avoid swirling the beverage around in your mouth.
Although they may seem healthy, many sports and energy drinks contain large amounts of sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that these drinks can be helpful for young athletes engaged in strenuous physical activities, but most people do not need them. Next time you’re thirsty, check the label to make sure your drink has low sugar content or is mostly water.
2) Chewy and Hard Candy
Did you know that the stickier the candy, the worse it is for your teeth? Chewy candies, in particular, tend to get stuck in-between teeth and can stay there for extended periods. This allows bacteria in our mouths to feed on the sugar left behind by these tasty treats. Over time, this process of burning sugar causes acids that dissolve tooth enamel and results in cavities.
Candies that are chewy, sugary, and acidic not only have their own erosive acid content but also produce additional acid through the Interaction of sugar and bacteria.
According to the ADA, hard candy should also be avoided. Although it doesn’t stick to your teeth as quickly as chewy candy, it dissolves slowly. It saturates your mouth for a more extended time, giving bacteria more opportunity to produce harmful acid. Hard candies can damage your teeth if you bite down on them wrong, and this type of dental injury is irreversible.
Pickles can be detrimental to your teeth’s enamel since they’re prepared with vinegar, which is acidic and might harm your teeth. Pickles and chutneys are linked to tooth decay because they’re eaten regularly. Anything that has been soaked in vinegar should be avoided. If you enjoy pickles, eat them with other foods that don’t include as much acid, such as cheese or salad. Also, drink plenty of water after finishing your meal to help prevent cavities.
It’s common knowledge that red wine stains teeth. But alcohol can also cause tooth damage due to the low pH levels and acidity, resulting in cavities in the long term. When consuming alcohol, eat something with a higher pH level to help balance out the acidity. Cheese and wine are excellent since they taste wonderful together, and the cheese helps neutralize acidity in your mouth.
5) Bread, Crackers, and Chips
Carbohydrates in refined, bread-based products, such as crackers and chips, harm your teeth. Carbohydrates are transformed into sugars by amylase, an enzyme present in saliva. When you eat carbohydrates, they’re broken down into sugar by amylase, which is found in saliva. Whole-grain bread and crackers are ideal alternatives.
6) Citrus fruits
Although citrus fruits are acidic and can harm your teeth, they’re also packed with nutrients like vitamins and minerals, so they shouldn’t be avoided. Just remember that foods high in sugar can damage tooth enamel, and grapefruit has an exceptionally high pH level, which can erode the surface of your teeth. If this happens often enough, it could lead to plaque buildup or cavities. To avoid these issues, brush your teeth after eating grapefruit or drinking anything containing lemon juice.
7) Dried Fruits
Many individuals believe that dried fruits are nutritious. Figs, apricots, and raisins are sticky and cling to your teeth. Sugar forms plaque when eaten in this form. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating dry fruits is a good idea. Instead of dried fruit, choose fresh fruit instead. If you must eat dried fruit, do so in moderation and always brush your teeth afterward.
8) Peanuts and Almonds
Nuts such as peanuts and almonds can be dense and damaging to the tooth’s exterior, causing tiny cracks (microcracks). Nuts can splinter and fracture teeth, especially when cold. It’s best to enjoy nuts in small amounts at room temperature and chew them slowly and carefully.
You may never have thought that carrots could be harmful, but chilled baby carrots are another leading cause of broken teeth. Carrots are nutritious, but they can harm teeth. Chew carrots slowly and at room temperature to minimize tooth wear if you have dental issues.
Chewing on ice after finishing a cold beverage may appear to be harmless, but it can cause chipped or fractured teeth. It’s best if you avoid chewing anything harder than food. Ice is notorious for causing microcracks in teeth and making them invisible to the naked eye, which might lead to more significant cracks in the future.