Sure, you know that candy and sugar is bad for your teeth. But did you know there are many other foods that can wreak havoc on your mouth? Knowing what foods are out to cause harm can help you to combat the potential damage, and stay on top of any potential issues before they start.
Foods that are bad for your teeth
This movie-watching staple might be tasty, but it’s surprisingly bad for your teeth! Not only can un-popped kernels cause chipped or cracked teeth, the sharp hulls of popped kernels can result in cut gums. Those soft pieces of the popped corn can get stuck between your teeth and result in increased bacteria growth, which can lead to cavities. Thus, popcorn is one of the worst dental offenders!
Syrupy drinks like pop and sports drinks
Drinks like these are full of sugar and acid, both of which are bad for teeth thanks to their ability to eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Not only this, but they can also dry out your mouth and even stain your teeth. Beware of diet pops- just because there’s no sugar, doesn’t mean there’s no damage from the carbonation!
Both hard and sticky candies tend to stick in your mouth for a long time rather that dissolving right away, giving their sugars extra time to hang out on your teeth and promote the bacteria growth that causes cavities. Hard candies can also result in cracked or chipped teeth if they’re bitten down on wrong.
Starchy foods like white bread and chips
Starchy foods like these are converted to sugars as they break down. Often these foods then get trapped between teeth where they sit and promote the growth of plaque-causing bacteria. Be sure to floss and brush regularly to combat the effects of a diet high in starchy foods. Less refined starches like whole wheat bread are a better alternative to white since they break down slower.
The acids in citrusy fruits like lemons, limes and tomatoes promote tooth decay by eating away at the enamel of your teeth. Eating them alone can cause the acids to stick to teeth, so any time you eat them make sure to rinse your mouth well with plain water.
Dried fruits aren’t necessarily bad for your health, but their high sugar content and sticky nature mean they’re pretty bad for your teeth. Be sure to floss after eating these!
It’s just water, right? Maybe so, but the temperature and hardness of ice can result in both damaged enamel and cracked teeth. Leave your ice in your drink and out of your mouth.
Avoid damaging your teeth and think good mouth health!
There are a few things you can do to help combat the negative effects of consuming the foods mentioned above:
- Limit snacking between meals
- Eat sugary foods with meals when your saliva production is naturally increased
- Brush with a soft brush and floss daily
- Drink water, especially during and after foods that are bad for your teeth.
- Visit your dentist for regular cleanings
- Don’t eat late at night or just before bed
Maintaining your oral health is key
Regardless of what you eat, it is possible to maintain good teeth health if you are diligent in taking care of your pearly whites! Brushing and flossing daily, rinsing your mouth as needed, and seeing your dentist regularly can help you keep your teeth as healthy as possible.