While brushing and flossing every day is the best way to keep your teeth clean and cavity-free, why not add a little extra cleanliness by also watching what you eat and drink? The foods you eat and the drinks you drink can have an effect on the health of your teeth.
In fact, there’s three basic types of foods that are the worst when you are trying to keep your teeth healthy.
The 3 Types of Food You Should Avoid
1. Sweets: aka Sugar
Foods like jelly beans, chewy candy, caramel, and sweet foods like cookies leave fuel for the plaque on your teeth. The by-product is acid which destroys your tooth’s enamel and that leads to tooth decay. Sticky candies can pose a serious threat because they are more likely to get stuck to your teeth, giving the plaque more of an opportunity to cause problems.
If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, pop in a piece of sugar-free gum, or eat a piece of fruit (not technically sugar-free but less likely to stick to your teeth). And of course, when you just can’t resist, brushing immediately after will help a lot.
2. Simple Carbohydrates
Bacteria living in your mouth also feed off of the simple carbohydrates that make up chips, crackers, cakes, muffins, and white-flour-based foods.
If you are craving some simple carbs for a snack once in a while, reach for some cheese to add to your crackers, or some cottage cheese to eat with your bread. Adding other foods that are low in simple sugars and high in calcium & phosphorus will help balance the ph caused by those simple carbs. These foods will also help rebuild the enamel (remineralization) of your teeth.
3. Acidic Foods
As you’ve probably already noticed, it’s the acidic by-product from the plaque (aka bad bacteria) that causes the damage. So it’s also true, that any foods that naturally harm the tooth’s enamel can be a culprit of tooth decay. So it’s best to avoid eating things like lemons, and grapefruit.
And You Should Probably Try to Avoid Carbonated Drinks
Ok, yes, drinks are not technically a food, but some drinks can still cause similar tooth decay issues as the food we just talked about. For instance, most carbonated drinks are filled with sugar, which coat your teeth with food for the plaque, again leading to cavities from the tooth decay. Diet sodas can also be dangerous as they have their own acids, such as aspartame, that leave residue on the teeth and create a prime environment for bacteria to grow. Having soda sparingly won’t ruin your teeth, but pay attention to the way your mouth reacts – you’re the best judge of knowing when to stop.
Remember, eating any of these foods will not destroy your dental health in a single instance. However, eating them frequently may start to make an impact since you are having more exposure to decay-causing foods. Thus, eat these foods sparingly, enjoy them, and be smart about brushing your teeth afterwards.
Here’s to healthy teeth and keeping your smile for a lifetime!
Are you interested in knowing more about foods that actually help your teeth? If so, let us know in the comments below!