Your teeth reflect what you eat. If you think sweets are the only food not serving your smile well, then you may be harming your oral health without you knowing. It's not too late to pay attention. Take note of these food groups to reduce or avoid intake of.
- Starchy foods. Starchy foods, such as white bread, can be tasty and filling, but you might want to limit your consumption. They cling onto the teeth and can be hard to remove. Bacteria feed off them and form acids that break down the enamel. If you must indulge in anything starchy, drink water afterward to help dislodge debris from tooth surfaces.
- Potato chips. Potato chips are also an example of starchy food, but they deserve their spot for being a well-loved snack across ages. It's hard to munch on only a few pieces. You might even be able to finish an entire bag in one sitting. But since they're starchy, potato chips also stick to the teeth and easily get stuck between tight spaces. When not removed, their debris can turn into plaque and result in cavities. After snacking on potato chips, drink or rinse with plain water and floss your teeth.
- Dried fruits. They may seem healthy as they're often marketed as so. But dried fruits are processed and may contain added sugars and chemicals to make them last longer. Like starchy food, they're often sticky and stubborn to remove on the teeth. Instead of reaching for dried fruits as snacks, consider their fresh fruit counterparts. They don't contain preservatives and you get to enjoy their full nutritional benefits.
- Ice. Do you have the habit of biting down on ice? Ice should be harmless, right? After all, it's only frozen water and doesn't contain additives. Chewing on ice can be fun and satisfying, but you might want to leave it for cooling your beverage and not for snacking. Biting down on ice can cause your teeth to chip, fracture, or break. You may end up needing emergency dental treatments.
- Nuts with shells. Nuts are high in nutrients, such as calcium and fiber, that are good for the teeth. Munching on nuts also helps stimulate salivary flow. However, some types of nuts can be too hard to chew. If you're eating nuts with a hard shell, be sure to use a nutcracker to open them. Chew carefully, and don't exert too much pressure on your teeth. Consider grinding and adding them instead to your favorite drink or smoothie.
- Candies. Sweet or sour candies can be bad for the teeth. While they're a favorite among children and adults, they can be the worst teeth offenders. They can be addictive, so you might find yourself reaching for more than just one at each time. Sweet candies are high in sugar that can lure in harmful bacteria. Sour candies also contain additives that can be harsh on your teeth. Since they're acidic, they can also contribute to enamel erosion.
- Citrus fruits and juices. How could citrus fruits be on this list? Citrus fruits can also be harmful to the teeth when taken excessively or without proper oral hygiene. Citrus fruits, such as lemon and lime, are highly-acidic and can leave the teeth vulnerable to decay and cavities. Consider drinking citrus juices from a straw to reduce direct contact of the liquid on your teeth or rinse with plain water afterward. Add variety to your fruit intake, so not all are citrus.
- Carbonated drinks. A chilled serving is so refreshing and satisfying, especially when you're parched, but it may be taking a toll on your smile. Carbonated drinks, sugar-free or not, contain acids that can eat away at the enamel over time. Soda attracts harmful bacteria and increases the risk for cavities. It can also leave stains on the teeth. After drinking, refrain from brushing right away as the acid softens the enamel and makes it more vulnerable to erosion. Rinse with plain water instead and wait for 30 minutes before brushing.
The worst food for the teeth becomes even more harmful with poor oral hygiene hab
You don't have to get rid of sweets or desserts altogether, but remember to indulge moderately and brush at least twice a day. Flossing is as crucial as debris can linger on tight spaces between teeth.
Don't forget regular cleanings and checkups at the dental office. Even with an excellent home dental care routine, your mouth still needs oral hygiene treatments. Some dental problems are tough to diagnose during the early stages, but your dentist and dental hygienist in Kemptville, ON can spot potential symptoms and keep them from progressing.
If you're in Kemptville, ON, and would like to have your gums and mouth examined, contact us today at (613) 258-7373.