Your diet may have more of an impact on your oral health than you realize. You can brush and floss regularly, as well as go to your bi-annual cleanings and checkups, and still have tooth problems because of your diet. Westborough Dental Associates, a dentist in Westborough, MA, discusses five foods you should steer clear of if you want to keep your mouth healthy.
1. Hard Candy
We all have a sweet tooth and it can be hard to deny it sometimes. But hard candy isn’t a good substitute for chewy candy, which you probably already know can get stuck in your teeth. Hard candy takes a long time to dissolve, meaning that it’s constantly releasing sugars into your mouth.
Sugar feeds harmful oral bacteria that then emit an acidic byproduct that eats through your dental enamel. This causes problems with tooth decay, leading to the need for dental fillings or root canals.
Biting down on hard candy can also be a problem. If you’re unable to judge how broken down it is from the original, biting down can lead to a chipped or cracked tooth. You may need emergency dentistry if the chip is too severe.
2. Dried Fruit
Fruit may be a good substitute for candy, but you want to stick to the fresh version. Dried fruit contains a higher concentration of sugar, which is bad for your teeth. It also often has a chewy, sticky consistency, making it similar to eating chewy candy. The fruit gets stuck between teeth and in the crevices on top of your molars.
3. Sports Drinks
You may think that sports drinks are better for you than things like soda or energy drinks. However, they contain a lot more sugar than you might think. Not only do they have this, but many are also flavored with citric acid. This wears away your tooth enamel, along with the bacteria feeding on the sugar.
The combination of the two of them makes your enamel erode away faster. Tooth decay can set on quicker than it would normally. Brushing your teeth right after causes more harm than good. With the citric acid, you want to wait for at least a half-hour after consuming these before brushing your teeth. Otherwise, you may cause damage and divots for tooth decay.
Water is one of the best things you can drink for your oral health. But you want to stick to the liquid form. Having a habit of chewing ice can cause more wear and tear on your teeth gradually. Just like with hard candy, you may also cause a dental emergency by biting down on the ice at the wrong time or angle.
5. Chips and Crackers
It’s easy to think these are okay when you don’t see many sugars listed on the nutrition facts. But since these are starches, they turn into sugars very quickly as they’re broken down while chewing. Chips tend to get stuck between your teeth and crackers turn into a paste that stays in the crevices in your molars. Make sure you rinse your mouth out after if you’re going to be snacking on these.
Your Dentist in Westborough, Massachusetts
Make sure you keep up with regular dental checkups so that you can know if your diet is harming your teeth. Call us or schedule an appointment online!