What you eat does matter. You probably know that your choice of food plays an immense role in maintaining your energy and weight. This time, do you know the foods and drinks that impact your oral health and eventually cause cavities? Your teeth and gums need the right nutrients to thrive just like the rest of your body.
We have already discussed at great length the 8 teeth-friendly foods for your strong teeth and gums in another post. Now, let us see what parts of your diet can put them in danger. While most of us may not absolutely, completely stick to the good stuff, it is still best to keep yourself in the know and potentially minimize huge risks to your oral health.
The time you munch on sweets, you do not only provide food to yourself, you also feed the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque is an invisible, sticky film of bacteria that covers the surface of the teeth. The bacteria produce acids and attack the tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Having cavities is the most common chronic disease faced by people six to 19 years of age. If you do not give time to brush and floss, after some time, the plaque will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar on the gums can lead to an early form of gum disease, gingivitis.
How to avoid these hostile issues in your mouth? To add to your brushing and flossing, try to limit or stay away from the foods and drinks listed below. If you cannot put them down altogether, at least eat or drink them quickly and give less time for the acid to react on your teeth and most importantly, wash them down with water afterward.
Top 5 Worst Foods and Drinks For Your Teeth and Gum Health
1) White Bread
White bread is pretty awful for your teeth and avoiding it is all the more beneficial because it is full of empty calories and refined carbohydrates. The enzymes of the bread are turned into sugar while it sticks on the crevices of the teeth and in the end, invites bacteria.
2) Carbonated Drink
Carbonated sodas allow plaque to release more acid to attack the tooth enamel. Any carbonated drink harbors up to 13 teaspoons of sugar. It is highly acidic and sipping soda all day long essentially erodes your teeth enamel because you coat your teeth with all that acid. Most of us do not gulp a can of soda in one go, so drinking it slowly and giving the acid more time to react causes severe damage. Lastly, it dries your mouth and dark-colored ones stain your teeth.
We do know that drinking alcohol is not exactly healthy. It is highly acidic and full of sugar. It even has a diuretic effect that leaves you thirsty in the morning. When saliva production is restrained, it is difficult for the body to maintain a favorable condition for good bacteria in the mouth to thrive and alcohol does just that. Worse still, drinking alcohol often goes together with chips and sugar-heavy foods as you try to boost your energy level the next day.
4) Dried Fruits
You probably assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. For starters, dry fruit, even the ones that say “without added sugars”, often still have a high amount of it and that is hurting your dental health. Dried fruits cling in the teeth and crevices while the harmful bacteria feed on its sugar. Since they come with less sugar and more fiber, it is always a better choice to eat the fresh stuff instead!
5) Potato Chips
Like the other problems of some of the above, potato chips have a “gummy” texture to them after chewing. This starchy substance that becomes sugar lingers in your mouth and brings in the acid-producing bacteria that is responsible for attacking your teeth and gums. We just said that saliva helps repair early signs of gum disease and it also tries to keep food from getting stuck on your teeth but potato chips stop this while drying your mouth.
So, what is the worst thing for your teeth? The answer is eating the wrong types of food and drinks, and not taking care of your teeth on a daily basis. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. If you decide to indulge in any of the worst foods or drinks for your teeth, rinse your mouth with water and avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Also, keep in mind that many dentists agree that proper brushing takes at least two minutes. Do these and you will have that smile on its way to being camera-ready in no time!