While certain foods are good for your oral health, others are not. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. Keeping it healthy helps ensure the rest of you stay healthy, too. Here is a list of some foods and beverages that can harm our oral health.
Coffee, taffy, jelly beans, gum, and candy are all foods that get stuck in your teeth for long periods of time, which can damage the enamel and make teeth more susceptible to tooth decay. With so many tasty treats available that are less sticky or sugary, there’s no reason not to indulge every once in a while! Just be sure to brush and floss afterward.
It’s obvious that candy is bad for your oral health, but did you know that there are many surprising foods that are just as bad? A diet high in sugar and starch can increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on these foods, so it’s important to limit them as much as possible. Try including more nutritious foods like milk or cheese into your diet instead of snacking on cookies.
Any food made of starchy carbohydrates can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. You can usually identify these by names like rice, pasta, bread, cereal, crackers, pretzels, and chips. They break down into simple sugars in your mouth, which is bad for your teeth. It’s especially important to avoid these foods between meals since cavity-causing bacteria feed on this sugar and produce acid that can eat away at tooth enamel. We recommend limiting your intake to no more than one serving per day of starchy foods. Instead, reach for a meal or snack that’s high in fiber and low in added sugars. Fruits and vegetables are a great option!
Foods and drinks that are highly acidic can erode the enamel and weaken the tooth structure. Over time, this can result in discomfort and sensitivity for patients. The worst culprits include drinks like soda, orange juice, tea, wine, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, sports drinks, vinegar, and salad dressings.
Cigarettes, chewing tobacco or snuff, and cigars all contain ingredients that wear down tooth enamel and cause cavities. They also can cause oral cancers. If you use tobacco products, quitting will drastically improve your smile’s health. If you are struggling to quit smoking or using tobacco products, ask your dentist for help. He or she may be able to prescribe medications to help you quit.
Wish to learn more dental care tips from the experts? Call Short & Vlosich Family Dental at (806) 374-8011 or schedule an appointment online.