We all know that maintaining oral health is essential for overall health. Having a healthy diet and following good oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing your teeth can go a long way in maintaining your dental health. Here are some foods and beverages that are bad for oral health and teeth.
Hard candies are also very harmful as they put pressure on teeth and can cause chips or cracks in the enamel. Tooth decay can then set in where the tooth’s protective barrier has been broken, setting the stage for infection and pain. Additionally, hard candies can get stuck in between teeth where they are not easily removed, causing irritation to the gums. The constant pressure and friction from chewing on these foods can wear down the gums, causing them to become inflamed and painful.
Soft drinks are one of the worst offenders when it comes to harming your teeth. Sodas are acidic, and sugar is their number one ingredient. This combination creates a very harmful beverage that eats away at your tooth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to bacteria and decay.
Drinking soft drinks on a daily basis can weaken your enamel by as much as 40%! Just one 12-ounce soda a day can increase your odds of developing cavities by a whopping 43%. If your tooth enamel is already weak from years of drinking soft drinks, you may need to get a restoration like a filling or dental crown to repair the damage. Your dentist may recommend limiting the number of soft drinks you drink if you already suffer from weakened enamel.
While they are not as bad for your teeth as the items listed above, coffee and tea can still cause staining and tooth decay when taken in large amounts. Be sure to drink these beverages in moderation, and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after enjoying each cup. Also, avoid drinks that are high in sugar, such as sodas and sports drinks.
Using straws while drinking coffee or tea can minimize the amount of liquid that can come into contact with your teeth. However, with this method, the risk of eroding your tooth enamel still exists, so be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after finishing your beverage.
Alcoholic beverages are not good for oral health. They contain sugar as well as acid, which wear down the enamel as well as cause dry mouth. A dry mouth causes bad breath as it promotes the growth of bacteria.
It is best to avoid drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages if you want to maintain good dental health. If you must drink wine, it is best to rinse your mouth with water after drinking to get rid of acidic residue and also to avoid staining on your teeth.
While sports drinks contain electrolytes and can help restore the body’s levels after a workout, they can also lead to tooth decay. The acidity in sports drinks and other sports beverages can severely damage tooth enamel and lead to cavities. If you drink a lot of sports drinks or other acidic drinks regularly, talk to your dentist about ways you can protect your teeth and see how it affects your dental health.
A dry mouth caused by sports drinks can lead to bad breath because saliva helps wash away bacteria that can lead to odor. Regular consumption of sports drinks can also cause tooth discoloration or teeth to become translucent and brittle.
Lemons and limes are citrus fruits that also contain citric acid. Citric acid can erode enamel. Diluting the juice with water can help reduce this effect. Drinking juice through a straw can also help reduce the contact citrus has with teeth. Citrus fruit juices also are high in acid and sugar content. These sugars stick to teeth and feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Dried fruit is sticky and contains large amounts of sugar. The stickiness of dried fruit can attract bacteria to your teeth and cause cavities. Compared to fresh fruit, dried contain more sugar which is harmful to teeth.
Dried fruit is also high in calories and sugar. Excess calories can lead to weight gain, which can increase your risk for gum disease and other oral health problems. Sugar contributes to plaque formation and increases acidity in the mouth, which leads to decay. Rinse with water after eating dried fruits or candies to remove excess sugar and bacteria from your mouth.
To learn more, visit Northeast Dental Associates at 19411 McKay Dr #150, Humble, TX 77338, or call (832) 818-8132 to schedule an appointment.