Healthy Foods Can Be Bad for Your Teeth, Part 2
Welcome back to the second part of our blog series on the unexpected downside to eating certain healthy foods.
Eating healthy foods is a wise choice that will almost certainly increase your quality of life, but only if they are chosen with careful consideration and adequate information.
At New Albany Implants we want to provide quality dental care, and to make sure the people of Southern Indiana have the information they need to choose foods that protect their health and their smile.
Popcorn and Nuts
Popcorn is delicious, low in fat, and full of fiber. Nuts are a tasty treat loaded with protein and healthy fats (yes, there is a such thing). These snacks make an excellent substitution for greasy chips and salty pretzels. So, what could be the problem?
One word: husks. The husks from nuts and popcorn have a bad habit of getting stuck between your teeth. This is not only annoying, it can be downright painful, and even cause swelling and bleeding. The worst part, though, is that these husks give a hiding place to the bacteria that cause tooth decay. When husks get stuck between your teeth, your tongue and saliva have a hard time getting them out. Sometimes even brushing and flossing can be ineffective! The longer husks stay in your teeth, the more damage they can do. So if you have one stuck and just can’t get it out, come to our office right away.
Another danger posed by these snacks is the hard shell of the nut and the popcorn kernel. These can are often hard enough to fracture a tooth. If a tooth gets even the smallest fracture, it becomes more vulnerable to decay, and more at risk for infection.
Dried plums and raisins have become a popular lunchtime treat, especially for children. They seem to be a flavorful substitution to chewy candy, which they are. The problem with dried fruits is that they are a little too similar to candy. Raisins, for instance, are sweet because they are packed with sugar. This sugar, although natural, attracts the same tooth destroying bacteria that synthetic sugar does.
Another problem is that dried fruits are sticky. This means that your tongue and saliva, which usually do a pretty good job of getting sugar particles off your teeth, have a hard time removing the chewy fruit pieces that get stuck on your teeth.
Dark Fruits and Vegetables
Tooth decay is not the only problem you need to worry about when choosing what foods to eat. Staining can also be an issue. Dark fruits and vegetables, like blueberries and beets, although filled with healthy antioxidants, can darken your smile with their staining juices.
Another tooth staining culprit is red wine. The health benefits of red wine have been promoted over the past several years. Some doctors even recommend a glass a day to guard against heart disease. That’s great! Just beware that red wine stains your teeth just as easily as it stains a white necktie.
The good news is that there is no reason to totally remove these food from your diet. You simply need to consume them with moderation. A little bit of health goes a long way. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water. Not only will this keep you hydrated, it will help wash away the sugar and acid that damage your teeth. Of course, regular brushing and flossing is essential, too.
Contact New Albany Implants today for more information on how to eat healthily without ruining your smile.