While snacking can be a great way to refuel between meals, some snacks are better than others when it comes to your dental health. It's important to choose snacks that aren't going to damage your teeth or increase your risk of developing cavities or gum disease. Here is a list of a few foods that can harm our oral health.
If you add sugar to any food, it kills the healthy bacteria in your mouth and releases harmful acids that attack your teeth. The constant exposure to sugar and acid creates a battleground for oral health in which bad bacteria and tooth enamel loss are almost certain to occur. Common high-carb/high-sugar foods to avoid include candy, cookies, brownies, cake, pie, ice cream, soda, fruit juice, and even dried fruits. While it might be difficult to give up all the delicious things you love to eat, remember that these foods will not make you feel better in the long run. Instead, stick to eating whole foods like lean meats, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and fruits. These foods will help you maintain a healthier smile and keep your body happy at the same time.
Bread, pasta, and potatoes are starchy foods that can stick to your teeth and cause decay. However, not all starches are bad for your teeth – some contain important vitamins and minerals like calcium that are good for your oral health. The key is moderation. Eat starchy foods with plenty of water to wash the food away and avoid overeating them. Consider other healthy options, such as sweet potatoes or brown rice instead of white potatoes or bread made with refined flour found in white bread.
Also, avoid sticky candies, such as caramels, gummy bears, and fruit snacks. These can get stuck in between teeth and around your gums, eating away at enamel and causing cavities. When snacking, opt for nuts, cheese, or other healthy snacks that are better for your teeth.
Citrus fruits can be delicious and refreshing, but they can be problematic for your oral health due to their high acid content. When citrus fruits are consumed, they break down into acids, and these acids can cause tooth erosion. Additionally, the high acid content in citrus juices can irritate the soft tissues of your mouth, such as the gums. This irritation can lead to gum disease, also known as gingivitis. You can still enjoy eating oranges and other citrus fruits, as long as you do so in moderation and make sure to rinse out your mouth with water after consuming them. It is also beneficial to avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating acidic foods, as this can wear down your tooth enamel and cause sensitivity. Instead, wait at least an hour or so before brushing your teeth.
The caffeine in coffee can lead to tooth discoloration, especially if it is consumed often and in large quantities. If you drink coffee every day, use a straw for drinking it to reduce the amount of contact it has with your teeth. You should also limit the amount of sugar you put into your morning coffee, as this can contribute to cavities as well. And if you do drink coffee, be sure to brush afterward!
Drinking alcohol can lead to serious oral health problems, including oral cancer and gum disease. That's because alcohol is highly acidic, which can wear down tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Additionally, alcoholic drinks are often high in sugar or starch, which can feed oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay. A dry mouth is also a common side effect of excessive alcohol use. This means your mouth doesn't have enough moisture to wash away food particles and bacteria. As a result, you increase your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are the worst foods for oral health. Both types of tobacco are highly addictive, and they also contain at least forty chemicals that can negatively affect your oral health. Smoking can also cause oral cancer and other cancers throughout the body. Some research has even linked smoking to pancreatic cancer. Chewing tobacco can also lead to health problems such as gum disease, tooth loss, and cancer. People who chew tobacco are also more likely to have stained teeth and bad breath than those who don't smoke or use tobacco products.
Schedule an appointment with Austgen Family Dental to learn more about oral care. We are at 1405 W County Line Rd, Suite A, Greenwood, IN 46142. Contact us at (317) 885-6400 or visit our website to book an appointment.