Hi, Dr. Doering here — We all know to avoid sugary foods, brush our teeth twice per day, and floss once a day. It’s simple dental hygiene that’s easy to follow. Yet, there are many temptations which prove irresistible. A balanced, healthy diet, with regular exercise is something everyone should work into their routine. And when it comes to dental health, diet is paramount. While it’s okay to indulge every now and again, here are five foods which are quite harmful for your teeth.
5 Bad Foods for Your Teeth
If you want a healthy smile and to spend less time in the dentist’s chair during your regular visits, you should cut out or seriously reduce some foods and drinks. Near the top of the list are two consumer favorites: coffee and energy drinks. Yes, coffee will stain your teeth and you probably already know what’s in those popular energy drinks…
Fact: Nobody looks forward to her biannual rendezvous at the dentist’s. But the discomfort from the poking and scraping of routine cleanings is nothing compared to the pain (not to mention the expense) of more intensive procedures, like fillings and root canals. So wouldn’t it be nice to seriously lower your chances of needing dental work with some strategic eating? — Prevention (http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/25-foods-dentists-wont-eat/slide/1)
The majority of people can avoid energy drinks with little effort, but coffee is an entirely different matter. However, for the sake of your smile, you should limit your coffee intake. But these certainly aren’t the worst of the worst. Here are five bad foods for your teeth:
- Ice. A surprising number of people believe ice isn’t harmful to their teeth. Because it’s just frozen water and does not contain sugars or acids, it’s just not harmful. But that’s a total misconception. Ice is bad for your teeth. Like rock candy, you should avoid chewing on hard substances. It could easily loosen a crown or chip a tooth.
- Sour candy. Speaking of candy, we all know it’s bad for our teeth but sour candy is one of the worst. This is because it is highly acidic, something that causes enamel breakdown. Making it worse is brushing right away after consumption. Since the acids breakdown tooth enamel, the bristles will do even more damage. So, it’s best to avoid sour candy altogether.
- Alcohol. You might be surprised to learn alcohol is a cavity causing drink. Why, you might ask? Well, it’s really simple. No, it’s not about sugar or pigment, but it is about dry mouth. When you consume alcohol, your mouth gets dry. That’s a bad thing because saliva is what starts the entire digestion process. Saliva washes away food particles, stains, and bacteria.
- Dried fruit. Another surprising food to make the list is dried fruit. Although it might be good for your body, it’s typically bad for your teeth. Natural sugars are the culprits in this case. When you chew dried fruit, once all the water is squeezed out, highly concentrated, natural sugars remain and deposit between the crevices of your teeth. That’s a bad situation since it becomes sticky and traps bacteria.
- White bread. Okay, how does white bread make the list? It’s not candy but it does contain starches. When you chew white bread, those starches will break down very quickly, converting into sugars. And like dried fruit, the same process occurs. Sugars stick and become a haven for bacteria.
As a bonus, add to the list three others: soda, berries and beets. Soda is obvious because it contains so much sugar. Beets and berries make the list because like coffee, these will stain your teeth.
Until next time, keep flossing!