Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It protects your teeth from damage. However, food particles can stick to your tooth enamel and cause a cavity to form. Listed below are a few foods that you should definitely avoid or consume within limits:
Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, but they can be damaging to teeth if consumed too often or in excess. This is because the acid found in fruits can actually wear away tooth enamel over time. This is just one of the causes of enamel erosion. Even though enamel cannot grow back once it has been eroded, there are things that patients can do to protect their remaining tooth enamel against the damage that acidic foods can cause. Brushing after consuming something high in acidity can rinse the acid off of the teeth. Rinsing with mouthwash can also help to neutralize acids and remove them from the mouth. Patients can also try to avoid eating meals with a high amount of acidic foods like lemons or oranges.
Sugary drinks, including soft drinks and fruit juices, are the largest source of added sugars in the American diet. The CDC recommends limiting sugary drinks to less than 450 calories per week for most women and less than 350 weekly calories for men. One 20-ounce bottle of regular soda contains over 150 calories and up to 50 grams of sugar.
Drinking just one large coffee drink a day can give you roughly the same amount of sugar as you should consume in an entire week. While experts agree that black coffee is good for you in moderation, drinking it on a regular basis can stain teeth and make teeth more sensitive to heat and cold. Many flavored coffees also contain sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Some juices contain as much sugar as a can of soda. Fruit juice provides plenty of vitamins but lacks the fiber found in whole fruits. This lack of fiber means that your body will process the sugars contained in fruit juice more quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels. Unhealthy diets can lead to periodontal disease and tooth decay.
By avoiding these high-sugar beverages in favor of healthier alternatives, such as water, milk, or unsweetened tea, you will be taking important steps to protect your smile from damage due to excessive consumption of sugar.
Candy is a type of sugar that dissolves easily in your mouth. Because of this, it can eat away at the enamel of your teeth and lead to cavities and tooth decay. Unfortunately, many types of candy contain lots of sugar and are acidic as well. This combination of factors is very bad for the teeth.
This is why dentists recommend limiting your intake of candies as much as possible. Hard sweets like lollipops and suckers can be particularly bad for the teeth because the hard exterior can crack or chip the enamel of the tooth. The more cracks you have in the enamel, the more likely you are to end up with cavities. While most candies are sticky, some candy is stickier than others. Unfortunately, sticky foods stay in the mouth longer, giving bacteria more time to eat away at your teeth and create cavities. Stickier candies include caramels, jelly beans, and gumdrops. Each of these options contains more sugar than other candies, which also increases your risk of tooth decay. Other sugary treats can also damage the teeth by exposing them to sugars for a prolonged amount of time. These sugars combine with plaque to form acids that can cause decay.
When it comes to your dental health, ice can be damaging for your smile in several different ways. First, when you chew on ice, the cold temperatures can cause the nerves in your teeth to contract. This contraction sends signals to the body that the rest of your body is too cold and needs to warm up quickly. This prompts the body to respond by sweating. Unfortunately, this response means that your body is losing water and salt—two essential minerals for your oral and overall health! In addition to potentially drying out your mouth, chewing on ice can damage your teeth in the same way it damages any other hard object. The sharp edges of ice cubes can chip or crack your teeth, which can lead to the need for a dental crown or other restorative dental treatments. In fact, one study found that people who chewed on the ice were at a higher risk for needing emergency dental care treatment such as a root canal. Plus, if you chew ice regularly enough, you could damage the enamel of your teeth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Ice can also be staining on your teeth, so you should consider brushing after using it.
If you wish to learn more, visit Cedar Creek Dental, Office of Dr. Phil Han, at 11786 SW Barnes Rd #360, Portland, OR 97225, or call (503) 646-1811.