It’s just part of life: you eat, and the foods you love don’t always love you back. The things you eat definitely bite you back, just not in the ways you might think! As far as your teeth are concerned food can be devastating and destructive, causing tooth decay, periodontal disease, and the complications that come with them!
Today we want to talk about those favorite foods that also might be causing you dental ruin. It’s an unfortunate fact but one that you have to face if you want a healthy mouth: some things just aren’t good for your teeth! It’s also important to talk about why food causes tooth decay, so before we ruin your snacking habits we should do that first.
Plaque in your mouth contains countless bacteria, and all of them just love sugar. When they eat sugar the byproduct is acid that eats away at your enamel, causing damage and decay. So when you were told as a child that sugar was destroying your teeth your mother wasn’t lying!
Culprit #1: Starchy Snacks
That’s right – it isn’t just sugar doing your teeth in. Starchy snacks like chips, crackers, pretzels, and other white flour based snacks all contain high amounts of a tooth killer: refined carbohydrates. Do you know what makes them so bad? They break down into sugar and provide a feast for plaque bacteria.
So if you’re snacking on salty treats be sure to limit your intake! If you still want to scarf down tons of chips and white bread make sure you brush your teeth afterward!
Culprit #2: Sports Drinks
Did you know that studies have shown Gatorade actually causes tooth damage faster than soda? You might not think it, but it’s true! Sports drinks contain a high amount of sugar and are often drank when we’re a bit dehydrated. Dehydration is dangerous for your teeth because it lessens the amount of saliva in your mouth, which is an important cavity fighter.
If you’re feeling worn out after a tough game or other physical activity do your body a favor: don’t reach for a sugary drink when you can just have some good old water!
Culprit #3: Citrus
There are a lot of reasons why citrus is good for you: vitamins, high amounts of protein … but there’s one big reason why they aren’t great for you: acids. Remember how plaque bacteria produce acids that damage your enamel? The acid in citrus fruit just skips over the sugar-to-acid stage and launches a direct attack on your teeth!
Acid harms your enamel in part by making it softer, and that’s another potential risk: if you think brushing your teeth after eating an orange or having a glass of grapefruit juice don’t do it! With your enamel softened by the acid you risk damaging it, increasing your risks of tooth decay! Your best bet? Drink some water!
Culprit #4: Sticky Foods
Sticky stuff gets trapped on your teeth and causes some serious damage for that very reason! The longer foods and sugars stay on your teeth the more time plaque bacteria has to eat that delicious sugar. The longer it eats the more acids are produced, and the more potential decay you face!
You can avoid the damage caused by sticky foods by making sure you drink water (again) and brush your teeth if possible. Don’t let gummy bears sink their claws into your teeth!
Culprit #5: Diet Soda
But it’s diet, right? It can’t be that bad! Sorry, but it still harms your teeth even if it’s sugar-free! Soda gets such a bad wrap because it’s not only sugary but acidic as well. Take away the sugar and you’ve lost part of the problem but not all of it! Just like the acid content in citrus can damage your teeth it’s the same thing with diet soda.
It’s going to sound like a broken record at this point, but what’s the best thing you can do to reverse the acidity of soda? Drink water!
In our next blog entry we’re going to talk about some of the best foods and drinks for your teeth. Just like how there are destructive ones there are also those that boost your oral health!
If you’re concerned about damage to your teeth don’t hesitate to call our New Albany dentist office today! We’re ready to help you keep smiling! You can reach us by phone at (812) 945-7645 or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to helping you!