Every single bit of food or drink that goes into your mouth affects your dental health for better or worse. And a few of the items that may seem otherwise healthy can actually do a real number on your teeth. Grove City Dentals offers a list of six of the worst food and drink types for your would-be pearly whites.
- Dried fruits and hard candies: While they may seem healthy, dried fruits still are sticky and high in sugar content. Thus, bit of them can adhere to your teeth, allowing sugar to feed the bacteria in your mouth and accelerate tooth decay. While fresh fruits have sugar, too, chewing them promotes saliva production, which keeps them from sticking to your teeth. Hard candies are harmful for the same reason – they stick to the surface of your teeth and they’re packed with sugar.
- Citrus and other acidic foods: Tomatoes, lemons, limes, oranges and other citrus fruits have a high acid content and, thus, can promote tooth decay, particularly when eaten alone or allowed to linger in the mouth. Of course, we’re certainly not telling you to skip healthy citrus fruits and vegetables. Just remember to flush your mouth with water afterward to help wash away or buffer the acid.
- Starchy foods: Pasta, potato chips and white bread are staples of the American diet. Unfortunately, they’re prone to getting stuck between the teeth. This means they can linger for hours, feeding on the bacteria that form plaque, that pale yellow biofilm that, if not cleared away, can harden and cause tartar and cavities and lead to gum disease.
- Sugary sodas and drinks: These include not only sodas, but diet sodas, sports drinks and faux-juices (fruit flavored drinks that rarely actually contain fruit juices). Everyone knows that sugar is a primary cause of tooth decay. But sodas add a high level of acid, which can literally eat away at your teeth enamel. In fact, a recent study shows that the effects of long-term, continual exposure to acidic content in diet sodas are identical to those of methamphetamines and crack cocaine on the teeth.
- Coffee and tea: Your morning cup o’ joe and your afternoon tea can stain your teeth, leaving them with a dull, yellow or brownish look. They also make your teeth enamel stickier, which causes food particles to latch onto and eat away at your teeth enamel.
- Alcohol: Among all the other ills of alcohol consumption, add this one – It dried up your natural saliva production. That’s crucial because saliva not only helps to clear away food particles, but it provides a buffer against acids contained in many foods, drinks and snacks. Plus, alcohol is corrosive to the gums, cheeks and skin inside your mouth and can affect the way tissue cells divide, boosting your chances for not only bad teeth, but for developing mouth or throat cancer, too.
To help keep your teeth healthy and white, and to correct damage already done by some of your favorite foods and drinks, call 614-808-1700 to schedule an appointment with Grove City Dental.