The health of your teeth and gums is important to your overall health, and what you eat plays a big role in that. Unfortunately, there are some foods out there that can damage your teeth and lead to cavities or other problems. Here are 10 of the worst offenders and what you can do to avoid them.
Sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks contain large amounts of sugar. When you sip on these beverages, the bacteria in your mouth use that sugar to create acids that damage tooth enamel. Try avoiding sugary drinks whenever possible and swapping them with water or unsweetened tea instead.
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are high in acidity and can wear down the protective enamel on your teeth. If you’re going to eat these fruits, try drinking a glass of water afterward to help rinse away some of the acidity and stick to snacking on these foods during meals instead of as snacks between meals.
Foods like candy, dried fruit, and granola bars that stick to the teeth can be especially damaging because they cling to tooth enamel longer and give bacteria more time to feed on sugary residue. Avoid snacking on these foods between meals and if you do eat them, make sure you brush your teeth or rinse with water afterward.
Sour candies are often full of sugar and acidity which can damage tooth enamel over time. If you’re craving a sour treat, try opting for something sugar-free instead such as sugarless gum or a natural sour candy sweetened with xylitol.
Chewing on ice cubes can be damaging to your teeth because the cold temperatures and hard texture of ice can chip away at tooth enamel. If you’re trying to cool down a drink, skip the ice and add some unsweetened frozen fruit instead.
Salty snacks like chips contain starches that break down into sugar when they come into contact with saliva in the mouth. This sugar then feeds bacteria which leads to cavities and other dental problems over time. Try avoiding these salty snacks or opt for something healthier like nuts, seeds, or veggies instead.
Alcoholic drinks are high in sugars and acids which can wear away tooth enamel over time. Choose non-alcoholic drinks instead like sparkling water or unsweetened tea.
Coffee and Tea
Both coffee and tea are acidic beverages that can weaken tooth enamel over time if consumed in excess. Limit how much you drink or balance out each cup with a glass of water to help rinse away some of the acidity from the beverage.
Dried fruits are often coated in sugar which can cling to the teeth and create a breeding ground for bacteria over time. Choose fresh fruit when possible and brush your teeth after eating dried fruits, especially if they’ve been soaked in syrup or honey.
Starchy carbohydrates found in foods such as bread and pasta can break down into sugar when they come into contact with saliva. This sugar then feeds bacteria in the mouth and can lead to cavities if left unchecked. Try swapping starchy carbs for whole grains or vegetables instead.
By making these small changes to your diet, you can help protect your teeth from damage caused by sugary and acidic foods. Make sure you also brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, visit your dentist on a regular basis, and drink plenty of water to keep your teeth healthy and strong! In fact, if you’re concerned about the state of your teeth or want to learn more about how to take care of them, visit us today at Renova Smiles.