The top three culprits of cavities are not brushing teeth well, snacking, and consuming sugary drinks. So, two of the top three reasons the public suffers from damaged teeth are food-related. Untreated cavities lead to root canals and crowns. Thereafter, you’re on your way to the loss of teeth that require dental implants, bridges, or dentures as a replacement.
It’s not just snacks and sugary foods that damage teeth; some healthy foods also have an impact.
Let’s explore the top five foods that damage teeth and some that are great for them.
- Sugary Drinks
The best drink to consume for hydration is water. It doesn’t damage your teeth; instead, it helps clean them. Sugary drinks include sports drinks. Chilled sports drinks hit the spot after a jog and intense workout, but they’re not great for your teeth.
You bathe your teeth in everything that you drink, especially if you don’t use a straw. Specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks, and fruit juices contain sugar that ranges from 23 grams to 39 grams. Their sweet content mixes with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth. The combination creates plaque.
When you visit your dentist for a bi-annual cleaning, the dental hygienist scrapes your teeth to free them from the accumulated plaque. Otherwise, it starts to eat them.
Plaque is the precursor to cavities. It dissolves your tooth enamel and causes damage.
Keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to consume that much sugar anyway. Other beverages that contain several grams of sugar are energy drinks, chocolate milk, iced tea, and premade smoothies.
When you’re thirsty, opt for a cool, refreshing glass of water.
- Sugary Foods
Sometimes you crave something sweet, such as candies, baked goods, or a pre-packaged breakfast item. Consumed sparingly is the way to go as opposed to in moderation or daily.
Candies damage teeth because they’re hard. If you chew them, you weaken the tooth and risk causing damage that chips it in the future. If you consume gummy or soft candies and don’t brush your teeth promptly, it’s going to stick and slowly cause harm.
Baked goods are tasty, but they’re bad for your mouth’s health too. They contain several grams of sugar and stick to your teeth. The same goes for pre-packaged breakfast items.
In a pinch, breakfast cereal, bars, and granolas help you put something in your stomach. Consumed consistently, however, cause enamel damage and they’re not great for your health either.
Instead, consider a regular fat yogurt parfait with gut-friendly granola and berries, or eggs with cheese. Oatmeal with a banana is another worthy alternative.
- Starch-Heavy Foods
Starchy foods tend to get stuck in between your teeth. These are the foods that cause damage in hard-to-reach places. It’s almost like floss and scooping out bread and potato stuck in between the crevices of two teeth go hand in hand.
Starches hiding in between teeth damage them because their sugars remain there for extended periods. Non-sugar foods wash away more easily than those that stick.
Skipping the starches and opting for alternatives, such as vegetable-focused pastas, beans, and vegetable-focused smashes helps your teeth.
- Crunchy Foods
Every time you bite down on a handful of potato chips, hard pretzels, and popcorn kernels, you risk physical damage to your teeth. The saltiness is satisfying, but the starch from the chips easily hides in your teeth’ crevices.
Vegetable-based chips are better for each tooth because they don’t contain starch. Instead of crunchy foods, consider soft counterparts, such as fruit and peanut butter.
- Acid-Rich Foods
On warm summer days, orange, pineapple, and tomatoes have a refreshing effect. However, their acidity levels erode your teeth.
If you consume acid foods, brush your teeth an hour after consumption. Limit the amount and frequency of consumption too. Studies have found that dairy reduces the eroding effect of acid-rich foods.
Consider combining orange or pineapple slices with regular fat yogurt.
All dentists will tell their clients that what they eat matters. A dentist focuses on your teeth. By staying away from sugar-heavy foods, crunch snacks, and sugar-focused drinks, you’re on your way to helping your teeth age well.
If your dentist notices tiny streaks on your teeth, chewing on hard snacks or grinding them at night is often the cause. You can alleviate the damage caused by grinding by adding a night guard to your teeth care routine.