You know it’s important to brush and floss regularly, as well as go to checkups and cleanings at your Northborough dentist office. But do you know how important your diet is when it comes to keeping your oral health pristine? Dr. Robert J. Gauthier Jr. of Apex Dental discusses five foods that you should try to keep clear of if you want to keep your smile sparkling.
1. Dried Fruit
When you’re looking for a sweet, healthy snack, fruit is often something you turn to. However, you should stick to the fresh variety if you’re going for fruit. Dried fruit is concentrated with sugars, much more so than fresh fruit.
In addition, dried fruit is chewy and sticky. It gets wedged between your teeth and in the crevices on top of your molars. There are bacteria in your mouth that feed off of sugar and their byproduct is acid that eats away your tooth enamel. The longer that fruit is stuck in your teeth, the more the bacteria are feeding and producing acid.
2. Sports Drinks
You probably know soda and energy drinks aren’t the best for your teeth. But sports drinks aren’t a healthy alternative. They’re loaded with almost as much sugar as soda. Because of the flavors people want and expect, they also contain a large amount of citric acid. Sugar and acid are just about the worst combination you can have for the enamel on your teeth.
3. Coffee and Tea
Many of us have a cup of one or the other to get us going in the morning. But you might want to start rethinking that. If you put a lot of sugar in your drink or get the coffees loaded with syrups and flavorings, you’re ingesting a lot more sugar than you may realize.
Coffee and black tea also contain agents that’ll stain your teeth. The more you drink, the more likely you are to develop yellow stains on your teeth. If you can’t give up your morning cup, try to make it without sugar and rinse with water after you’re done to reduce the damage.
4. Hard Candy
Chewy candy is something we’re taught as children to avoid. But hard candy isn’t a good substitute. Since it takes a long time to break down in your mouth, it’s constantly releasing sugar as it dissolves. This gives the bacteria in your mouth a long time to feed off of sugar, as it lingers for more time.
Hard candy also contains another danger. If you go to bite down or chew on the candy at the wrong angle, you risk chipping or cracking your tooth. This can lead to you needing a dental filling or dental crown to fix the tooth.
While water is good for you, you should probably stick to it in the liquid form. Chewing on ice can cause wear and tear on your teeth the more you do it. Also, as with hard candy, biting down on the ice at the wrong angle can cause damage to your teeth.