Keeping teeth healthy can be hard when many of the foods you like to eat can be harmful. Different attributes of food can treat teeth differently either promoting and preserving healthy enamel, or breaking down enamel and building plaque. Foods that include large amounts acidity, sugars, and starches are usually promoters of enamel erosion leading to many different factors such as tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Here are 7 different food types to stay away from or at least limit consumption to for good oral health.
- Sticky Foods – Candy is widely known for not being beneficial toward oral health. Almost all candy (at least the good kind) has copious amounts of sugar. Depending on the candy type, most candies will get stuck in the crevasses and pockets of teeth leaving the sugars to sit and accumulate bacteria to begin building plaque. Candies that have a sour flavor do double damage because they have higher acidic properties to create that sour flavor.
The sugary and sticky consistency isn’t limited to just candy. Many dried fruits are also sugar coated and have a gummy texture that will find its way to the cracks and crevasses of the teeth.
- Starches – Foods that have a starchy make up such as bread, crackers, and chips. When saliva breaks down the sugars in the starch, the consistency changes to an almost gooey substance that easily gets stuck in between teeth. This allows the sugars to sit and decay the tooth if not cleaned right away.
- Fruit – Fruits are great for the body’s health, but when it comes to oral health many fruits have a high acidity that can speed up tooth decay. Fruits like apples, oranges, lemons, and tomatoes have higher acidity levels.
- Ice – Technically one wouldn’t consider ice a food but, when ice is chewed it is not good for teeth. Chewing ice can cause tooth chipping and tooth cracking that can lead to bigger oral problems and a much higher risk of rapid tooth decay if not treated in a timely manner.
- Wine – A glass of red wine at dinner has many health benefits, but can also take a toll on your teeth. Red wine can be very acidic and when consumed regularly can stain your teeth.
- Coffee – Coffee is a morning must for many people. Whether your drink is from home, Starbucks, or anywhere else, most of the time sugar is added to the coffee. Coffee, like wine, has health benefits but when consumed regularly can stain teeth, as well as speed up tooth decay when sugar is added.
- Soda – Last but not least, Soda. Soda has a huge amount of sugars that stick to your teeth. Not only does soda have more acid to attack the enamel, but darker sodas can have the same effect that wine and coffee do to stain your teeth.
When looking at this list you might be thinking, then what can I eat? All of these foods can still be enjoyed in reasonable amount without hurting your teeth if other actions take place.
For example, when eating a food with high acidity whether it be wine or fruit, eat something with it that has a higher PH. Any dairy food like a glass of milk or a slice of cheese can counter balance the acidity so it is not sitting on your teeth for long.
While eating starchy foods, drink water to break up the food that has collected in the crevasses to prevent it from accumulating and attacking the enamel.
With anything having to do with sugary foods, there’s usually always a sugar free option when it comes to candy and other snacks. Not only will sugar free be better for your body’s health but your mouth will thank you as well.
Brushing your teeth after eating can also help keep teeth healthy. See your dentist regularly for cleaning and checkups to be sure you teeth are sparkling and strong.