You know that your diet can have an impact on your body. But have you ever thought about how it impacts your oral health? Plantation Road Dental Care’s Dr. Melanie J. Andrews, a dentist in Destrehan, LA, discusses what foods you should avoid if you don’t want extra visits to her office.
1. Soda and Sports Drinks
Soda is both acidic and full of sugar. This means it’s double trouble for your teeth. The acid eats away at the enamel on the outside of your teeth. Sugar feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay. These bacteria then release acid as a byproduct, eating through the enamel as well.
Sports drinks may not be something you see as unhealthy. However, they hide a huge sugar content. They also don’t carry a ton of benefits over water when you’re working out. Unless you plan on losing an insane amount of sweat, avoid the sugar damage to your teeth and stick to water.
2. Dried Fruit
Fruit is something you usually reach for when you’re looking for a healthy snack. But if you’re searching for a healthier version for your sweet tooth, stick to the fresh kind. Fresh fruits like apples and pears are fibrous and can help neutralize acids in your mouth.
Dried fruits, on the other hand, are much more concentrated with sugar. They’re also sticky, getting wedged in between teeth and in the crevices on top of your molars. This means that sugar is just sitting in those places until you can get somewhere to brush and floss. If you’re out and about, it can be hours with that fruit stuck in your teeth. It’s a cavity waiting to happen.
3. Potato Chips and Crackers
While you may not see many sugars when you look at the label, they’re certainly hiding them. Potato chips and crackers are both starches, which break down into sugars as you eat them. Both of these foods are also prone to leaving debris between your teeth when you’re done. Crackers especially turn into a sort of paste that sits on your molars.
4. Hard Candy
You may think that chewy candy is the worst thing for your teeth. But hard candy isn’t a better substitute. Since hard candy takes a long time to fully dissolve, it leads to sugars just lingering in your mouth for a while. This gives the bacteria that feed off of them more time to enjoy and damage your teeth.
In addition, hard candy can be a hazard if you bite down on it. Depending on the angle and force, there’s a good chance you can chip or crack a tooth trying to bite that hard candy. This will lead to a need for an emergency dental appointment to get it fixed.
5. Foods and Drinks with Alcohol or Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine aren’t the best things for our bodies. We know that already. However, they have more of an impact than you may realize on your mouth. Both contribute to dry mouth, meaning that your saliva isn’t being produced properly. Having enough saliva is essential has it helps to wash away bacteria and food particles on your teeth. Mixed drinks especially also have high sugar content.
Drinks that contain caffeine are almost always ones that can stain your teeth. Colas, coffee, and tea are dark brown drinks that lead to your teeth turning yellow or brown. Caffeinated drinks also tend to cause bad breath because they hang around and stick to your tongue.