A healthy diet is important for your overall health and well-being, but did you know your diet can also have a direct effect on your oral health? Many common foods and drinks we consume can have a negative influence on our smile. Here are some foods and drinks that can harm our oral health.
When sugar is left to linger in your mouth, it feeds the bacteria that naturally live in the mouth and causes tooth decay. It is important to limit your consumption of sugary foods and drink them in moderation. If you do consume these foods and drinks, be sure to brush and floss your teeth as soon as possible to avoid cavities.
Biting down on hard candies can send extra sugar to the mouth, which can cause tooth decay and cavities. The teeth can also become overly sensitive to heat and cold due to the increase in acid production from the bacteria in the mouth. Over time this can lead to more serious dental health issues such as gum disease or tooth damage. Additionally, many hard candies have fruit flavorings that are very acidic as well. These acids can be damaging to the teeth and lead to erosion of the enamel.
Coffee & Tea
Drinking black coffee and tea may be harmful to your teeth due to the caffeine content in the drinks. The acid in coffee and tea can erode your tooth enamel over time, leaving teeth more susceptible to decay, discoloration, sensitivity, and more potential issues. If you do enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, try to drink a glass of water along with it to rinse the sugars away and keep your mouth hydrated. You should also try drinking your tea or coffee through a straw to reduce the amount of liquid that touches the surface of your teeth.
It’s no secret that wine isn’t exactly beneficial to your overall health. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s a terrible beverage for your oral health either. In fact, some studies have suggested that red wine may help prevent decay by killing certain oral bacteria.
However, the acidity of white wine can erode your enamel, and the sugars in red and white wines can increase your risk of cavities. If you’re a wine enthusiast, be sure to drink in moderation and rinse with water after every glass to lower your risk of tooth decay.
Additionally, if you tend to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner every night, you may be increasing your risk of developing tooth erosion over time. Try cutting back on how often you sip your favorite red or white instead.
While sports drinks were designed to help athletes stay hydrated during workouts or games, the added sugars and acids they contain are bad for your oral health. In fact, these beverages contain more acid than lemons! Acid wears away at the enamel on your teeth and causes tooth decay, erosion, and cavities. In addition, the acidity of these beverages can irritate your gums and cause them to bleed. When consumed regularly, sports drinks can also lead to tooth discoloration. Instead of reaching for a sports drink to quench your thirst, reach for a glass of milk or water instead. Your teeth with thank you later.
Citrus Fruits and Juices
While citrus fruits are healthy in a diet, they should be avoided for the health of your teeth and gums. The citric acid in citrus erodes enamel and causes tooth sensitivity. Be sure to drink lots of water after enjoying a glass of orange juice or lemonade in order to rinse away the citric residue on your teeth. If you must eat something acidic, be sure to brush your teeth and drink a glass of water immediately afterward to wash away the acid and prevent erosion.
Dried fruit is a healthy food choice that is loaded with antioxidants and valuable nutrients such as potassium, iron, and fiber. However, it’s best to eat dried fruit in moderation due to the large amount of concentrated natural sugars found in it. These sugars are sticky and can cling to your teeth after eating dried fruits. As a result, they will feed the bacteria in your mouth that produce harmful acids that can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. If you are eating dried fruit for a snack, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward to remove any lingering food particles from your teeth. You can also brush or floss your teeth after snacking on dried fruit to help prevent cavities and keep your mouth clean and healthy.
To know more or to schedule your consultation with our dentists, call our Springfield Location at (417) 887-3100 or the Branson West office at (417) 272- 3352.