Failing to take proper care of your teeth can expose you to a number of dental problems. Your diet plays a vital role in ensuring good oral and dental health. A healthy diet not only helps you maintain better overall health but also ensures healthy teeth and gums. On the other hand, there are some foods that can harm our oral health. Here are some of them.
High-sugar foods and beverages are one of the main causes of tooth decay. This is because sugar eats away at the enamel on your teeth, allowing you to develop cavities over time. Not only that, but they're also very acidic. Acidic foods can erode the enamel right off of your teeth, leaving them weak and vulnerable to decay creeping in.
It's best to avoid these kinds of foods and beverages if you can help it. Not only do they feed the bacteria in your mouth, but they're bad for your overall health as well! Try drinking more water throughout the day instead of reaching for a can of soda or a fruit snack.
While hard candies are delicious, they are not good for your teeth! The sugar in hard candies is sticky, so it will stick to your teeth and stay in your mouth for longer periods of time. This means longer exposure to acid and sugars. Your teeth are 3⁄4 enamel, which is naturally porous. The acid that lingers on your teeth will slowly dissolve your enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable. In severe cases, this can lead to tooth decay.
When you eat something sweet, the sugar reacts with the plaque bacteria in your mouth to create acids. These acids attack your enamel and cause cavities. The longer the candy stays in contact with your teeth, the more chance for damage to occur. Keep your smile healthy by minimizing your consumption of sweets and hard candy.
Sodas and soft drinks are some of the worst drinks for your oral and overall health. Most soft drinks contain a ton of sugar and acids that wear down your enamel and lead to cavities. Even sugar-free sodas can cause you problems. The acid and sugar-free sodas are made with artificial sweeteners that can cause tooth discoloration and even decay! Many brands also contain phosphoric acid, which can weaken your tooth enamel even more. You can avoid these beverages by drinking healthy, water-rich alternatives like tea, milk, or flavored waters.
Coffee and Tea
While coffee and tea may not look or feel sticky when liquid, that's not always the case once they've been sitting and then are consumed. The sugar and creamers in coffee and tea can cause the teeth to wear down over time. In addition, the acidity in the drinks can lead to tooth sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth already, consider drinking these beverages in moderation.
If you do enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, try to limit it to one cup per day or switch to decaf if you need to cut down on caffeine. Decaf still has some caffeine, so if you're sensitive to it, avoid sipping on decaffeinated coffee throughout the day.
While wine is enjoyed by many, it can have negative effects on your oral health. Alcohol is a drying agent that causes dry mouth, which may contribute to gum disease and bad breath. It also encourages the growth of oral bacteria that contributes to tooth decay. It can cause staining of the teeth and can contribute to receding gums. This occurs because the acids in alcohol dissolve the minerals in the enamel that protects the teeth. Over time, this can lead to tooth sensitivity or decay.
Soda and sports drinks are some of the most harmful beverages to your teeth. These contain a lot of sugar in them, which directly causes tooth decay. Drinking sports drinks while sweating profusely can also cause erosion of the enamel of your teeth due to constant exposure to acids. Try to avoid drinking these as much as possible. If you must, drink it through a straw and rinse your mouth with water afterward. You can also consider diluting the sports drink with plain water to reduce its acidic content.
Citrus Fruits and Juices
Topping the list is citrus fruits and juices. Studies show that eating these acidic foods regularly can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Lemons and oranges contain a lot of acids that can wear down your enamel if eaten regularly. However, other citrus foods like lemonade or orange soda also contain lots of sugar – a double dose of sugar and acid that can wreak havoc on your teeth.