Most everybody knows that certain foods, such as candy, cause cavities and dental health problems. The best way to avoid the need for costly dental work such as fillings, dental crowns and root canals is to prevent damage to the teeth with good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing effectively twice a day will go a long way toward preventing damage to your teeth. Some foods we eat are more damaging to teeth than others. You might not know that excessive consumption of saltine crackers can be bad for your teeth! Here are the top 8 foods that damage your teeth. Don’t worry, most everything on this list is just fine in moderation, although if you consume these products on a regular basis you might want to take extra care to brush and floss after eating these.
Citrus and citrus juices-Citrus is acidic and a natural enemy to tooth enamel.Fruits and juices such as lemonade, orange juice and grapefruits contain strong acids that can erode tooth enamel, leaving your teeth susceptible to decay.
Chewy candy- Chewy candies such as toffee, taffy and caramels stick to teeth for a long time, leaving sugars on the tooth surface.Sugar is food for oral bacteria and bacteria in the mouth flourish in the presence of sugar, leaving behind strong acids as they digest it.Since acids and tooth enamel don’t mix, it is easy to see why avoiding sticky candies is good for dental health.
Hard candy- You might think that if sticky candies are bad for teeth, hard candies would be better.Hard candies dissolve very slowly, and while they do not stick to teeth, they coat the mouth with sugar, increasing the acid produced by oral bacteria.It might be interesting to know that the most dental-friendly candy you can eat is chocolate because it melts quickly and is washed away by saliva fairly quickly compared to other stickier candies.
Pickles- Pickles are highly acidic.True, you would have to eat a lot of pickles on a regular basis to cause tooth decay, but the high acid content found in pickles has been shown to erode tooth enamel more quickly than many other foods.
Sodas and Sports Drinks-It is not just the sugars found in these drinks that cause tooth decay, even diet sodas and sports drinks are just as damaging to tooth enamel as their full-sugar counterparts.This is because sodas and sports drinks are highly acidic.If you consume these types of beverages, it is best to drink it all rather quickly, rather than sipping slowly throughout the day.Rinse with water or brush your teeth after drinking sodas in order to remove residue left behind.
Wine- You might know that red wine is responsible for tooth stains, but you might not be aware that it is also highly acidic.The acids in wine, even white wine, weaken tooth enamel making it easier for stains to penetrate into the teeth.
Crackers- The refined carbohydrates found in crackers actually convert into sugars very quickly, feeding oral bacteria and producing enamel-weakening acid.If you munch on crackers all day long, you might be damaging your teeth!
Coffee and tea- tannins in coffee and black tea produce stubborn stains that can make the tooth surface sticky, promoting tooth decay.Even when these stains are removed with teeth whitening or professional dental cleaning, they are more likely to return again.
Rather than avoid your favorite foods altogether, enjoy them in moderation. If you can brush after eating acidic or high sugar foods, that is even better. If you can’t brush then you can at least rinse your mouth well with fresh water after eating to help wash away sugars and acids that can damage your teeth. Practice good dental hygiene and see Dr.Babaloui twice a year for a dental check up and professional dental cleaning.