5 Worst Foods for Dental Health
Most people know there are some foods that are particularly problematic when it comes to dental health. Taking care of your teeth requires more than just regular brushing and flossing. Knowing which foods are bad for your oral health is a great way to preserve your smile and dental health for as long as possible.
Although crackers like Saltines and Goldfish may seem innocuous due to their notable lack of sugar, white crackers are incredibly bad for your teeth. They contain fermentable compounds that can become stuck in the nooks of your teeth and under the gum line, creating a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
Although dried fruits can be a healthier alternative to chips and pretzels, they still pose problems for your teeth. Since dried fruits are dehydrated, their natural sugar content becomes super concentrated. Some dried fruits can be as sticky as caramel after chewing them, leaving sticky deposits of fruit sugars on your teeth.
Limiting sweets is always a healthy choice, but some people mistakenly assume that a hard candy they can suck on for a long time is healthier than eating a bag of chips or a candy bar. While a hard candy may have fewer calories, it lingers in the mouth longer than other snacks. This means the sugars in the candy have more time to erode tooth enamel with acids and sugars.
Carbonated soft drinks are loaded with sugars and artificial sweeteners that can wreak havoc in your mouth. These drinks are also highly acidic, and acid, not sugar, is the root cause of most cavities. Darker-colored sodas can actually stain your teeth, as well. If you drink a lot of soda, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that brushing after a bottle of cola is helping. Since the acids in soda wear down tooth enamel, brushing immediately after drinking soda can actually speed up the tooth decay process.
A staple of many American adults’ morning routines is incredibly bad for their smiles. Coffee is extremely acidic. Too much coffee can not only cause tooth decay, but can actually interfere with the stomach’s natural acids and cause problems like acid reflux. Severe acid reflux can introduce stomach acids into the mouth, and even small amounts can cause significant damage.
There is a vast selection of snacks today that don’t harm your teeth, so keep this list in mind during your next shopping trip if you want to keep your smile healthy and shiny for longer. Consider substituting low-acid fruits for sweet treats, and tea or water in place of coffee or soda.
If you have a particular food sensitivity or have sensitive teeth, ask Dr. Easter about his recommendations for snacks that are healthy for your teeth.