When you sit down to read a book, or maybe indulge in that TV series that you’ve been hooked on, do you find yourself looking for your favorite food to snack on, or favorite drink to quench your thirst? Depending on what you choose, your favorite snacks could be doing damage to your mouth and contributing to problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and other various oral health conditions. Dr. Aerni recognizes that good oral health is about a lot more than just visiting your dentist; it is about forming good habits in between your visits, that promote healthy teeth and gums.
Below, Dr. Aerni outlines several foods and beverages that can do a lot of damage to your mouth:
Foods That Damage Oral Health
1.) Foods that contain citrus:
There are many fruits that provide your body with the vitamins it needs, and are great for your overall health. However, some fruits are high in citric acid and, as a result, are not healthy for your teeth. Fruits that are high in citric acid include oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons, just to name a few. The reason these fruits are bad for your teeth, is that the acid from them will attack the tooth enamel.
You know the type of food we are talking about: the ones that you chew on, and chew on, until your jaw is sore. These include jelly beans, taffy, gummies of any sort, and a variety of different candies. What makes these foods so harmful, is that they are typically full of sugar and stay on your teeth for long amounts of time. If you do eat foods of this nature, be sure to floss and brush soon after consumption.
3.) Hard candies:
Like the sticky foods discussed above, hard candies are full of a variety of sugars. What makes hard candies an especially dangerous option, is the number of dental emergencies that they cause. All too often, patients come in with a chipped or fractured tooth that occurred from trying to bite into a hard piece of candy.
4.) Crispy foods like pretzels and potato chips:
Think about it: how often do you find yourself picking particles of potato chips and pretzels out of your back molars after consumption? This is due to the starch that is found in these foods. Starch has a habit of getting stuck in your teeth—more specifically your molars.
Drinks That Damage Oral Health
Coffee and soda drinkers, beware! Caffeine is a major culprit of dry mouth, which, in turn, causes cavities. Additionally, these drinks typically contain a lot of sugar or acid that cause harm to your teeth.
6.) Sports beverages:
Consuming these drinks while you are exercising or participating in physical activity is not bad for you. However, if you drink these drinks on a regular basis, while just laying around the house, the sugars and syrups can cause some harm to your teeth.
7.) Alcoholic beverages:
Whether you grab a beer, your favorite wine, or another type of spirit, alcohol can cause harm to your teeth. The reason for this is similar to the damage from caffeine: Alcohol has a tendency to dehydrate you and cause dry mouth. If you disrupt your salivary flow, you will have less defense from cavities, gum disease, and other oral health conditions.
After reading this list, you might be asking: what foods you can eat without harming the health of your teeth ands gums? Don’t worry, in our next blog post, Dr. Aerni will provide some food choices that will not only not harm your teeth, but actually boost your oral health.