10 Foods Bad for Your Teeth
We all know by now that diet significantly impacts our oral health and while you may be thinking that all you need to do is avoid sweets and you’ll be okay, that’s not the case. Today, we will be looking at 10 foods that are bad for your teeth (some of them may surprise you):
Sweets and lollies
Sweets like caramels and hard lollies that are retentive and avoid being washed away by saliva or take a long time to dissolve are especially dangerous (that’s not to say cakes and cookies aren’t too) because they are likely to remain stuck to your teeth for a long time especially in the pits and fissures of back teeth. This provides the bacteria with more time to feed on them and produce acids that cause cavities.
Though we’ve all been told that vitamin C is essential for health, too much citrus can cause erosion of your enamel, making it weaker and more susceptible to cavities. It is also recommended that you use a straw when drinking juice so there is reduced contact between the acids and your teeth.
The combination of sweet and acid in sodas pack a double punch, leaving teeth more susceptible to both cavities and erosion. Sugars found in soft drinks interact with bacteria in your mouth resulting in acid. The acid formed then attack tooth enamel and erosion of the teeth begin. If you drink soft drink through the day, your teeth are constantly under attack.
Sports drinks may seem healthier than soda and energy drinks, but they often contain as much or even more sugar. Most sports drinks are also flavoured with citric acid which increases the chance for decay. Although the high citric acid content can extend shelf life of energy drinks, the acid content can also strip enamel from your teeth, making teeth more sensitive as wee as more prone to cavities and decay.
While fresh fruit is usually considered a safe snack, dried fruit has concentrated amounts of sugar and decreased nutritional value. Their consistency is also like chewy candies that easily stick to teeth which means it has the potential to contribute to tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth then product acid from the sugars which then can attack your enamel.
Crackers and chips
Though this may seem surprising, refined carbohydrates found in crackers, white bread, and chips can all be broken down into simple sugars which can be used by bacteria to create acids.
Tea and Coffee
Excessive consumption of tea and coffee can cause brown and yellow stains on teeth caused by ingredients called tannins found in coffee and tea. Also, since sugar is often added as a sweetener, it further increases your risk of cavities.
Alcohol naturally dries out the mouth by reducing saliva production. Saliva is naturally protective to teeth and helps to prevent cavities and tooth erosion by washing away food particles and because of its mineral content. With low saliva production, your defences are weakened.
Apple cider vinegar
Though it is popular for its detoxifying properties, apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and can cause rapid erosion of enamel. Diluting apple cider vinegar or drinking it all at once is also preferable to sipping on it.
Though it is a healthy (and delicious) alternative to chips and other snacks, I’m sure we can all universally agree that kernels getting stuck in your teeth (or cutting our gum) is a pet peeve. With kernels stuck between teeth, the bacteria can have a field day and the unpopped kernels can cause your tooth to crack if you bite down on one.
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