Brushing and flossing is the most important part of keeping your teeth healthy, but what you eat also matters. Several foods are bad for your teeth and can leave you vulnerable to decay or damage your teeth.
8 Foods that at Bad for Your Teeth
Lets talk about common foods that are bad for your teeth, so you can keep your smile healthy and beautiful.
Many people think ice is good for your teeth. While ice is just water that has no sugars or additives, it can still damage your teeth. Chewing on ice can break your teeth, especially if you have fillings.
Breaking your tooth can cause the need for a
- root canal
- tooth extraction
Protect your teeth by not putting any unnecessary force on them.
We all know that acidic foods can make your teeth more susceptible to cavities because they can erode away your enamel. The enamel of your tooth is the first line of defense in protecting you from cavities. When you frequently expose your teeth to acidic food you are weakening the enamel and increasing your risk for a cavity. We aren’t just talking about eating highly acidic fruits, we are also talking about putting lemon or lime in your
water. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any citrus foods, but it is important to limit them and drink lots of plain water.
Coffee is not inherently bad for your teeth, but more times than not when we drink coffee, we add things to it (cream and sugar). Caffeinated coffee and teas can also dry out your mouth. Dry mouth, coupled with sugar, is a recipe for cavities. Not to mention coffee can easily stain your teeth. If you plan to drink coffee try to consume it in one sitting rather than sipping on it throughout the day.
Pro Tip: Rinse your mouth out with water after drinking coffee and try to limit the sugar you add.
4. Sticky Foods
Sticky foods are a large source of cavities, because you are unable to get them off your teeth as easily. When we think of sticky foods and how they can cause cavities we often think of taffy, caramel, candies, etc. But did you know that this also includes dried fruits? While we tend to think dried fruits are healthy, many of them can be very sticky and difficult to get off your teeth. When you eat these foods, it is important to rinse your mouth out after and brush & floss carefully.
5. Crunchy Foods
Similar to ice, crunchy foods such as nuts can damage your teeth. You can still eat foods such as nuts, but it is important that you take good care of your teeth and see your dentist regularly to prevent a tooth from breaking. If you eat crunchy things like chips, while satisfying they are loaded with starch. Starch easily sticks to your teeth and can be difficult to get off. Be sure you brush and floss carefully at the end of the day to remove this build up.
Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and/or contain sugar. When you sip on these drinks throughout the day you are constantly feeding the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. Many of these drinks also have caffeine which can dry your mouth out and make you more susceptible to cavities.
Alcohol causes dehydration of your mouth. Limited saliva production increases your risk for cavities. Saliva helps wash away the bad bacteria in your mouth as well as left over food. When your saliva is decreased, you become more at risk for decay and gum disease. Alcohol is also a major risk factor for oral cancer. Be sure you are seeing your dentist every six months and try to limit your alcohol consumption.
8. Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks
Sports drinks theoretically sound healthy and are marketed as a health drink or healthy alternative, but the reality is they are almost always loaded with sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that these drinks can be helpful for prolonged vigorous physical activity, but are unnecessary in most cases. Due to the high sugar content, these drinks drastically increase your risk for cavities. If you must drink these types of drinks, make sure to look for low-sugar options.
Related Article: Do You Have a Toothache? Here are the Top Causes for Tooth Pain
Oral Health and Nutrition
Remember, you can minimize your sugar intake by limiting the number of snacks you eat during the day and reading the nutrition labels on your food to avoid overly processed sugary foods. As you know, sugar doesn’t just come from food, you also need to be cautious of soda, energy drinks and fruit juices.
If you are going to eat a sugary snack, it is better to have it with your meal. Your saliva production is increased at mealtime and this allows your body to wash away food and acid from your mouth!
So next time you are feeling like getting into the sweet holiday treats, remember to:
- Drink lots of water (this will help you produce saliva which protects your teeth)
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Snack on fruit or veggies – instead of a candy bar
Related Article: ADA: Diet for Healthy Teeth
Tooth Decay is Preventable
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases for both adults and children. Fortunately, tooth decay is completely preventable with just a few simple lifestyle choices. Dr. Luff recommends brushing twice a day for 2 minutes and flossing daily! But preventing cavities goes beyond just brushing and flossing. Our nutrition plays a key role in preventing cavities!
Cavities form when sugar comes into contact with the bacteria in your mouth, which creates acid that attacks your teeth. Every time you eat this happens, so it is important to limit snacking throughout the day.
Preventing Cavities with Luff Dental
Preventing cavities is our goal! We’re here to help you overcome oral health challenges and any other dental challenges you or your family may be experiencing.
Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve the health of their teeth, their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment.