Good oral health begins with healthy dietary habits. Consuming foods that are good for your teeth and overall health can increase your chances of a healthy smile. On the other hand, eating the wrong kinds of foods can have a negative impact on your oral health. Here are some foods and beverages that can damage your smile.
Hard candy is acidic and high in sugar. The sugar sticks to your teeth, and the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and produce acid that attacks the enamel of your teeth and causes tooth decay.
Gum and hard candy also usually contain artificial dyes and sugar alcohols that can be very irritating to the tongue and the gums. Repeated chewing causes irritation to the gum tissues and can lead to gum recession.
Soft drinks have been shown in numerous studies to be bad for oral health due to the large amounts of citric acid and sugar in them. Acid wears on the enamel of the teeth and can weaken them. The sugar in soft drinks can cause cavities as well. These beverages can also cause staining to the teeth. Even diet sodas have acids and sugars in them. While drinking these drinks in moderation is perfectly fine for most people, it is best to avoid them altogether if you have sensitive teeth or gum issues. If you do drink them, try to rinse your mouth with water right after, and do not brush for at least a few hours afterward.
Coffee and Tea
These two beverages can have a big impact on your oral health. Both coffee and tea contain a lot of acids that can wear down your enamel if you drink them too often or in large amounts. The darker the coffee or tea is – the more staining power it has and the stronger its negative impact on your teeth. When drinking either one – it’s best to use a straw whenever possible to limit contact with your teeth.
As for tea – it also contains tannins that bind to stains on your teeth and make them look yellower. If you can’t give up your morning dose of caffeine, then it’s better to switch over to herbal teas. The best option would be to switch to water after you’re done with your tea or coffee. That way, you’ll wash away some of the excess acids and sugars in your mouth before they have a chance to cause any damage.
While wine may be good for your health in moderation, it’s not good for your teeth! That’s because the sugars found in alcohol are detrimental to your oral tissues. The sugar content in wine can cause stains on the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay. Thanks to its acidity levels, wine can also wear down tooth enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to sensitivity. Since wine is also acidic, it can aggravate canker sores and cause bad breath.
It’s best to drink water in between glasses of wine to help neutralize some of the acids present in each sip you take. This will also help wash away any residual sugar and acid left behind in your mouth.
Most types of sports drinks are loaded with sugar – nearly as much as soda! The bacteria in your mouth love to feed on this sugar and produce acid that erodes enamel and leads to tooth decay. Even sugar-free versions will damage your teeth over time because the acid is produced when the drink is broken down by the digestive system. This extra acid will wear down your enamel and cause cavities.
Don’t be fooled by marketers who advertise sports drinks as being good for athletes’ performance. They are NOT good for your mouth or your waistline. Stick to water during exercise. If you must sip on something, opt for plain water with a squirt of lemon or lime to keep the flavor interesting. Water with a splash of fruit juice is also an option if you prefer something a bit sweeter.
Dried fruits are sticky and full of sugar, which makes them terrible for your teeth. The natural sugars in dried fruits will stick to your teeth, attracting bacteria while slowly eroding the enamel on your teeth. The stickiness of dried fruits will also pull at your gum tissue, causing irritation and inflammation at the gum line. If you are prone to gum disease, you should avoid eating any food that sticks to your gums.
Do you have questions about your oral health or dental care in general? Visit Newport Smiles Dental Spa at 570 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, or call (949) 642-1033.