There are many options for improving your oral health, from getting cavities filled to avoid further damage to whitening your teeth to remove stains. However, the best option is to try to do all you can to prevent these issues. The CDC found that 90% of adults have had a cavity in their lifetime. That’s a lot of tooth decay. Tooth decay doesn’t just lead to cavities, it can also lead to gingivitis and gum disease.
Brushing your teeth and flossing is always recommended, but your diet has a major impact on your oral health. Here are some food and drinks you should avoid to stay proactive and protect your teeth.
Soda. Based on the sugar content alone, this makes the list, but the carbonation makes soda even worse. Carbonation allows more plaque to attack your enamel. It also dries out your mouth and causes you to produce less saliva. Saliva is essential in cleaning out your mouth and getting rid of harmful food particles. According to pubmed.org, the dental erosion caused by too much soda is similar to the effects of methamphetamine and crack cocaine – that’s some serious damage. On top of all of this, large amounts of soda can also stain your teeth.
Bread. This one may seem a bit shocking to you. Because of bread’s texture, it can easily get stuck in between your teeth. Your saliva then breaks down the starch in the bread into sugars, which can cause cavities or other issues when stuck between your teeth. Other starchy foods are also bad for your teeth, including chips, crackers, and even pasta.
Ice. Ice is just water, and you always hear about how good water is for your whole body, including your teeth. Sure, water washes away sugar, acid, and bad bacteria. However, in this case, the pros don’t outweigh the cons. Crunching on ice breaks down your enamel. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to chipping or cracking.
Grapefruit, lemon juice, and other citrus. Citrus is another food that is good for your body, but bad for your teeth. Citrus typically comes highly recommended because of the high amounts of Vitamin C, but these fruits and juices are also extremely acidic, which can wear away enamel. Next time you put lemon in the water on your desk to sip on all day, think twice, because that’s a long time to be exposing your teeth to harmful acids.
Alcohol. It’s no secret that alcohol is systemically bad for your health. But when it comes to your oral health, similar to soda, alcohol dries out your mouth, causing less saliva. Excessive amounts of alcohol can even reduce saliva flow in general. Alcohol is also frequently mixed with soda or other sugary beverages that make it double trouble for your teeth.
Breath mints. A breath mint before a meeting seems like a good idea, but eating mints or other hard candy is actually detrimental. Not only are your teeth sitting in sugar, but crunching down on them early is bad for your enamel.
If you have any questions about tooth decay, schedule an appointment with us on our website.