We often tend to consume foods and drinks that are not good for our teeth. These foods and drinks can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. While consuming sugary foods serves no purpose, eating sticky foods can be pretty tempting. Here is a list of some foods and beverages that can damage your oral health and smile.
Most sticky, sugary foods that we eat and drink cause tooth decay because bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars and produce an acid that can wear away enamel and lead to decay. Even healthy foods containing natural sugar can be damaging to the teeth when eaten in excess. Most beverages and foods with added sugars should be limited or avoided for oral health’s sake.
Hard candies can be sweet, but they can be very damaging to your teeth. Biting down on hard candy can crack or chip your tooth enamel or even cause tooth loss. Chewing on hard candies can also put too much stress on your jaw joints resulting in TMJ disorders and pain.
Unlike regular gummy candies, which can dissolve and wash away from your mouth as you chew them, the sticky consistency of hard candies helps them stay in your mouth longer, allowing the sugar to linger in the mouth for longer periods of time. The longer the sugar stays in your mouth, the more opportunity it has to do damage to your teeth. Hard candies also stick to the surface of your teeth which makes it easier for bacteria and plaque to form around them. Sugar is also bad for your oral health because it feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Soda is a leading contributor to tooth decay because it contains acids that erode the enamel. The phosphoric acid used in sodas softens tooth enamel, making it easier for the sugars from the soda to cling to the teeth. This creates a perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria to thrive. It is no surprise, then, that soft drinks are associated with over 60 percent of Americans’ decay experience. Most sodas also contain high amounts of sugar, which increase the risk of cavities. The good news is that you can reduce your risk of decay by ditching your soda habit.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are some of the worst things to consume for your oral health. They are both highly acidic and will erode the enamel on your teeth. The tannins from these beverages will also stain the teeth and make them appear yellow or brown in color. They’re not good for anyone’s teeth but particularly bad for people who have sensitive teeth and gums. If you drink these beverages, brush your teeth afterward. However, if you still enjoy your morning cup of joe or your evening cup of tea, try to limit your intake as much as possible.
Alcohol converts to sugar in the mouth, which can feed bacteria that damage the teeth and can lead to cavities. Red wine is especially acidic, so it can erode tooth enamel and cause staining. While red wine is not as bad as coffee, both need to be consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy oral diet. If you do drink wine or coffee, try drinking water afterward to wash away the sugars from your mouth. You should also brush your teeth shortly after consumption to remove any particles that may linger on your teeth.
Many people are surprised to learn that sports drinks pose just as much of a threat to your oral health as soda and other sugary beverages. This is because not only are they loaded with sugar, but they contain acidic ingredients that can erode the enamel on your teeth. These drinks have an extremely high acidity rating and can completely strip away the minerals from your tooth enamel. Over time, this can wear down your enamel and cause the yellowing of your teeth. The acid in these drinks can also eat away at the surfaces of your teeth as well, which can cause tooth decay if you don’t brush right after drinking them. Enamel erosion can also lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss.
Dried fruit is delicious and a great source of fiber and iron. But it’s also sticky and hard to clean out of your teeth, so we recommend limiting your dried fruit intake to a few pieces at a time. Otherwise, you’ll risk damaging or breaking your tooth enamel with all that sugar in the sweet treat.
Visit AC Dentistry at 7350 Cahaba Valley Rd. #106, Birmingham, AL 35242, or call (205) 533-6799 for the best dental care.