Regular brushing and flossing and a healthy diet are a recipe for good oral health and a shiny smile. On the other hand, a bad diet may cause tooth decay and toothaches.
The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar. Every time bacteria eat sugar, it results in acid, which damages the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. A few months or years is enough for the enamel to break and form a cavity. Therefore, it is important to restrict your intake of sugary and sticky foods. Sticky food stays on your teeth longer, which gives the bacteria more time to consume the sugar and do their damage.
Here are five foods and drinks that do the most damage in your mouth:
Soft drinks are very dangerous for your teeth. They contain acids and sugar which are bad for your teeth. Some sodas contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Even fruit juices and sports drinks have high levels of sugar and cause acidity. Diet soft drinks contain no sugar, but still contain citric and phosphoric acids that damage the enamel. To prevent damage that sugary drinks may cause, drink plain water afterwards. Water will rinse your mouth and prevent the sugars from sticking to your tooth enamel.
Starchy foods also cause tooth decay. The enzymes in your saliva start the digestion process of these foods in your mouth, breaking carbohydrates into sugar. This sugar becomes available as food for the bacteria in your mouth. Some foods like potato chips can stick between your teeth and contribute to plaque buildup. You are not advised to give up starchy foods. However, try to avoid starchy snacks. It is best to eat starchy foods as part of your meals when there is a higher probability of brushing your teeth afterwards.
Lollipops are the children’s favorite candy. However, hard candy causes two types of damage in your mouth. They may crack your teeth, but also leave a layer of sugar on your teeth for a long time. This leads to acidity in the mouth, which damages the enamel. These candies erode your teeth with greater intensity than regular sweets. If you still cannot resist eating hard candy, drinking water or milk will help neutralize your mouth until you properly brush your teeth.
Alcohol reduces the production of saliva and irritates the gums. It also affects the soft tissues inside your mouth, which leads to oral cancer.
Although extremely good for your health and an excellent snack, dried fruits are not ideal food for your teeth. They are full of sugar and easily stick to your teeth. Their sugar feeds the bacteria and produces acid that damages your teeth. Fresh fruits are a better option. Although they contain sugar, their sugar mixes with saliva and juice from the fruit, which prevents the sugar from sticking to your teeth. This does not mean you should cut out dried fruits, only make sure to neutralize the acid afterwards.
It is always important to think about the impact of these foods on your teeth. After drinking a soda or eating potato chips, you will start feeling that familiar sour taste in your mouth. Be mindful this is the taste of acid that has developed in your mouth and is damaging the enamel. Act quickly and drink water or neutralize the acid with chewing gum, or brush your teeth if possible.
Cosmetic Dentist Dr.George Harouni