What you eat matters for your oral health. To minimize plaque buildup in your mouth and avoid dental emergencies, you need to pay more attention to your food choices, and that includes snacks and beverages. With that, take note of these items that can ruin your smile.
Hard candies. They look and taste good, but they aren’t teeth-friendly. Too much sugar can draw cavity-causing bacteria in. Plus, munching these treats can also lead to a cracked or broken tooth. If you’re to have some, be sure to drink water afterward. And don’t forget to floss and brush your teeth before ending the day to prevent plaque buildup.
Canned fruits. Fruits are good but it isn’t always the same for the canned version. Canned fruits are high in sugar, especially those that come with syrup. If you’re craving for fruits, pick the fresh ones instead. Throw in crunchy choices, such as apple and pear. They’re rich in water and fiber and chewing on them help stimulate the flow of saliva in the mouth.
Ice. It’s not food per se but some people enjoy chewing on it. Chewing on ice can be dangerous for the teeth not because it can cause cavities or plaque, but because it can be too hard and cause chipping or cracking. Apply ice to relieve swelling but don’t put it in your mouth, like a snack.
Coffee and tea. These beverages have a lot of benefits, but that is when they’re taken in pure form. Adding too much sugar to your coffee and tea isn’t good for the teeth. More so, if you’re taking several cups a day. Bacteria feed on sugar and produces acid that attacks the tooth enamel. While there’s saliva to counter this, it might not be able to keep up if there are excessive sugar and acid in the mouth. These beverages can also cause tooth staining. After having coffee or tea, make it a habit to drink water too.
Sports drinks. Sports drinks can be beneficial but they can also pose harm to your teeth. They’re loaded with sugars that can cause cavities. Instead of hydrating with sports drinks, choose water instead. Then, you won’t have to be cautious about how much you’ve already had.
Sticky food. Dried fruits and chocolates taste great and it can be hard to give them up. You don’t have to entirely, but you need to ensure good oral hygiene habits. These two can be sticky and when left on tooth surfaces for too long, they can attract bacterial growth and result in cavities. The better alternative is to have fresh fruits and water for your drink.
Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can cause dehydration and other oral and health issues. Drink moderately. If there is too little saliva production in the mouth, this can result in tooth decay and unpleasant breath.
Crunchy food. Potato chips are hard to resist. They’re tasty but they’re also starchy too. Starchy food can cause plaque buildup if not removed from the teeth. They can also get stuck in tight spaces between teeth. Minimize intake and when you do indulge in them, always flush down with water. Floss and brush properly too and stay on top of your dentist appointments.
Popcorn. Some patients report a cracked or chipped tooth due to popcorn. Husks can also get into tight spaces between teeth. If you’re having popcorn, beware of hard kernels and husks. Or if possible, have another snack.
Switching to a balanced diet is easier said than done. For a start, moderation will be helpful. If you have particular oral health condition or needs, your dental team may also be able to advise you further on food that you should avoid and those that you’ll need more of.
If you have dental-related questions you want to ask a dentist please contact our team.