The foods you eat and the beverages you drink have a direct impact on your dental health. Certain foods and drinks are healthier for your teeth than others, while others can damage your teeth. Listed below are some of the worst foods for your oral health.
Any food that is high in sugar is bad for your teeth because the bacteria in your mouth feed off of the sugar and release an acid that attacks your enamel. When enamel is weakened by acid production, cavities can form more easily. So it’s especially important to cut sugary snacks out of your diet if you are practicing good oral hygiene and have healthy teeth.
Hard candy can damage teeth and cause painful cavities. The sugar in hard candies can stick to the teeth, encouraging bacteria to grow and causing tooth decay over time. Cavities can also form in the spaces between the teeth if patients bite down on hard candy. P
Hard candies are sticky and can even get stuck in between your teeth. When we eat food that gets stuck between our teeth, we are inviting bacteria into our mouths which produce acid as a byproduct of their digestion process. This acid can eat away at our tooth enamel and can cause cavities or make our teeth very sensitive and painful. Patients should avoid biting on hard candy to prevent damage to their teeth.
While soft drinks may taste sweet and refreshing, they are loaded with sugar. If they’re not consumed in moderation, they can lead to tooth decay and cavities. In fact, every can of soda has roughly ten teaspoons of sugar in it! Drinking too many sodas can also lead to an increased risk of gum disease. The acid in the soda dries out your mouth’s protective saliva film. This creates a more welcoming environment for bacteria to grow in. When your mouth is constantly exposed to these harmful bacteria, you increase your risk of gingivitis and even advanced periodontitis.
A dry mouth is also an ideal environment for harmful oral bacteria to flourish. These germs produce toxins that can damage the soft and hard tissues in your mouth. This can cause tooth loss, as well as general inflammation throughout your body.
There are less acidic alternatives to soda that aren’t damaging to your oral health. These include flavored water or iced tea. You can also reach for sugar-free options that have zero grams of sugar. However, even these options contain natural or artificial sweeteners that may be harmful to your teeth. So, while they may be a better option than soda, you should still limit your intake. That way, you can enjoy the refreshing beverages without increasing your risk of developing oral health issues.
Coffee and Tea
Both coffee and tea are delicious drinks that you can enjoy on a daily basis, with or without sugar. However, they both contain properties that can harm your teeth over time. When consumed on a regular basis, they can contribute to eroding enamel and causing stains on the surface of your teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body, and it protects your teeth and tooth roots from damage and decay. Once it erodes, it can expose the sensitive layers of the tooth to harmful bacteria and plaque, leading to cavities.
Try to brush your teeth right after drinking coffee or drinking tea and rinsing your mouth with water. The acidity in tea and coffee can linger on your teeth for a long period of time and cause damage. Brushing immediately after consuming these beverages can significantly reduce the amount of time they have to sit on your teeth.
If possible, try to switch to decaf coffee or tea to reduce your risk of staining and erosion caused by caffeine. Decaf coffee will still contain the antioxidants found in regular coffee, but they will not cause the same problems as caffeine.
Drinking wine in moderation can be good for your oral health. The alcohol in wine helps prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and causing cavities. However, if you drink a lot of wine, it can start to wear away at your enamel and cause discoloration. As a result, red wine can actually make your smile look worse over time!
Soda and sports drinks are terrible for oral health for a couple of reasons. They’re full of sugar, which feeds oral bacteria while causing tooth decay. They also contain acids that wear away tooth enamel and increase the risk of a cavity. When consumed in excess, they can also lead to obesity, diabetes, and other serious health problems. If you’re an athlete who consumes sports drinks to stay hydrated during exercise or recovery, consider diluting them with water. If you must drink the beverage as-is, try drinking more water throughout the day as well.
Please reach out to our dental practice in Pleasanton, CA, to have a consultation with our dentist in Pleasanton, CA. Please call us at (925) 600-9006 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.