Eating the right foods is essential for good oral health. A balanced diet is essential for your overall health. However, consuming certain food items can wreak havoc on your oral health. Listed below are some of the worst foods for oral health.
- Sugary Foods
Sugary foods are the worst for your oral health for a number of reasons. First, they break down into acids that eat away at your teeth’ enamel. Bacteria in your mouth like to feed on these sugars and produce acid as a byproduct. Over time this can lead to tooth decay and even gum disease. Second, sugar encourages the growth of oral bacteria, which can lead to bad breath and overall mouth health. Third, many sugary foods and drinks have a high acidity level that wears down the protective enamel layer of the teeth. Fourth and finally, eating or drinking a lot of sugary food can contribute to weight gain – which is linked to a whole host of health problems. Replace these sugary foods with vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Of course, avoiding sugary foods altogether is the best thing you can do for your teeth and gums!
- Hard Candy
It’s best to avoid sucking on hard candy because the sugar is hard on the teeth, and the saliva glands cannot wash it away properly. Hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers are the worst. They stick to the teeth and are difficult to remove completely from the mouth. If the candy is sucked on long enough, the enamel can be damaged. Lollipops are typically flavored with acids and sugars. Jawbreakers are often sour and hard. If you must have a sweet treat, it’s best to choose soft chocolates over hard candies.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends avoiding sweets of any kind during childhood. Cavities are much less likely to occur in children who do not consume excessive amounts of sugar. Children should opt for sugar-free candies or treats instead.
- Soft Drinks
Soda pop and sports drinks often contain acidic substances that wear away tooth enamel, creating an ideal environment for cavities to start forming in your teeth. Avoiding them altogether is the best choice for your oral health; however, if you need to keep drinking soda or sports drinks on occasion, be sure to brush your teeth immediately after consuming them. Another helpful tip is to dilute your fruit juices with sparkling water to minimize the effects of acid on your teeth.
- Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are both high in acid and sugar, which is bad for your teeth. The acidity of coffee can cause enamel erosion, which causes tooth decay. Enamel is the outer layer of teeth that protects them from decay. Acidic beverages can soften the dentin underneath the enamel, making teeth susceptible to cavities.
Coffee has also been linked to heart disease and cancer due to its high caffeine content and its high levels of antioxidants. Tea also contains tannins, which can stain the teeth. One way to avoid this is to brush immediately after drinking tea or swish water around in your mouth before brushing. Drinking through a straw can also help prevent staining, as the liquid will bypass the teeth.
Red wine is the worst offender when it comes to staining teeth. The tannins in red wine stain the surface of teeth. Even white wine is less damaging than red wine due to its low acid content. After drinking wine, swish water around your mouth to dilute the acidity in your mouth before brushing your teeth. Brushing within 30 minutes of drinking red wine can help prevent stains.
- Sports Drinks
Many people consume sports drinks to quench their thirst and replenish electrolytes during their workouts. Unfortunately, these drinks have high sugar content and acidity that can wear away the enamel on your teeth. It is best to try to avoid them altogether or to consume them with meals instead of in between. If you do enjoy sports drinks, make sure to drink them with a straw and rinse your mouth out with water after you are done drinking. This will help reduce tooth damage.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Madison Park Dental, call (208) 356-5601 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 345 N. 2ND E., Suite 2, Rexburg, ID 83440.