The foods and drinks we put into our body have more of an impact on our health and overall happiness than many people realize. We’ve all been told from an early age to steer clear of candy and super sugary foods, as they can be detrimental to our oral health, but did you know there are a handful of other foods that do more harm than good? It seems there is always a new food trend – whether it be something good for you, or something harmful – making it difficult to keep up with what, exactly, we should be putting into our bodies.
While brushing twice a day, flossing, and not giving into your sweet tooth cravings on a regular basis are all things we’ve heard from the dentist, there is much more to a healthy smile than simply following these three steps. There are tons of different tooth-damaging foods and beverages tempting us at every turn that can weaken enamel, crack crowns, and turn our pearly whites into dull, yellow teeth. Given the amount of harmful foods on the market today, it is a miracle American adults have as healthy teeth as they do! While you undoubtedly won’t be able to (and probably don’t want to) steer clear of every single food or drink that could harm your teeth, there are a few ‘big offenders’ that we think you should know about.
The majority of these can be categorized as foods that are full of sugars that cause cavities, hard foods that weaken enamel, and liquids that cause dry mouth. With that in mind, here are five foods to avoid in order to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums in excellent condition:
- Sour Candy – This one should come as no surprise, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless. Sure, we’ve all heard that candy is bad for your mouth, but sour candy really takes the cake, so to speak. Sour candy is typically full of different kinds of acids that wreak havoc on your teeth, and because they are chewy, they stick to your teeth and find their way into all the tiny crevices in your mouth.
- Carbonated Drinks – Another no-brainer, carbonated drinks like soda and pop are incredibly damaging to your teeth. In fact, some scientists liken the damage they do to that from crack cocaine and methamphetamine. This is because carbonated drinks can help plaque to produce more acid, in turn attacking tooth enamel.
- Ice – This one may come as a surprise, but ice is one of the toughest things on your teeth. Chewing on a hard substance like ice can damage enamel and increase the risk of dental problems like chipped, cracked, or broken tooth. Furthermore, chewing on ice may also result in loosened crowns, which can be both costly and painful to fix.
- Citrus – We are all about moderation, but many people are unaware that this also pertains to citrus like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Sure, these fruits are packed full of vitamin C, but their high acid content can erode enamel and expose teeth to decay.
- Dried Fruits – Another shocker, dried fruits – like raisins, apricots, and prunes – are quite tough on teeth, getting stuck in crevices and leaving behind a lot of natural sugars. If the natural sugars can cause acid-producing bacteria, which could lead to more serious dental health issues down the road.
In order to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy, do your best to avoid the five foods and beverages listed above, or at the very least introduce them to your diet in moderation. To schedule a dental cleaning or exam with one of our Las Colinas dentists, please contact us today.