Proper nutrition is important for your overall health, including your teeth and gums. Certain foods can help strengthen your teeth, while others can weaken them. Listed below are five foods you should avoid if you want to maintain good oral health.
Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in your favorite foods and beverages, creating acids that attack your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Even healthy-seeming foods like fruit contain natural sugars that can increase your risk of decay. It’s best to eat and drink water at mealtimes instead of snacking throughout the day for a healthy mouth and healthy body!
If you must sip water during meals, choose plain water and drink it quickly rather than sipping it for a long time or swishing it around in your mouth. Water is essential for oral health because it helps flush away food particles and other debris from the teeth that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Keep your mouth moist by drinking water regularly and avoiding sugary drinks like soda and juice. These can cause tooth erosion and even damage the protective enamel on your teeth.
Chewing on hard candy can cause a lot of damage, especially to your teeth. They contain high amounts of sugar, which feeds the bacteria in your mouth. This can cause plaque to build up on the teeth and make them discolored over time. Not to mention that the sugar in these candies can erode the enamel of your teeth and lead to tooth decay. The constant exposure of the soft tissues of the mouth to the hard surface of cough drops can lead to toothaches, soreness in the gums, and even cracked lips.
We recommend staying away from these types of candies in order to achieve better oral health. If you must indulge, be sure to brush and floss thoroughly afterward to remove any excess sugar from your mouth. We also recommend using sugar-free gum; this can help to stimulate saliva production in the mouth and wash away food particles from the teeth.
If you eat a lot of acidic foods throughout the day, it’s more likely that you’ll begin to experience enamel erosion and tooth decay. This goes for fruit juices as well! It’s best to limit your citrus intake to just one serving a day. Other acid-producing foods to avoid are tomatoes, pickles, mustard, vinegar, tea, sports drinks, and soda.
While all can stain your teeth, coffee and black tea are especially bad for your dental health. They contain tannins that bond to your tooth enamel and can cause discoloration. We recommend limiting your coffee and tea intake to just a few cups per day and rinsing your mouth with water after drinking them. You can also consider whitening treatments to remove stains from your teeth.
Red wine is also bad for your oral health because it contains chromogens, which bond with your teeth and cause staining. You should limit the amount of wine that you drink as well. Avoid swishing the wine around in your mouth or holding it in your mouth; instead, drink it quickly in a single gulp to minimize contact with the teeth.
While smoking and using chewing tobacco isn’t necessarily poor for your oral health, tobacco products do increase the risk of oral cancer. In fact, tobacco use is linked to more than 30 percent of all cancers in the United States. Not only that, but smoking can dull your teeth and lead to gum disease. Smokers have nearly twice the risk for gum disease than non-smokers. Smoking is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
In addition to all the damaging effects of tobacco use on your smile, it could also cost you a pretty penny in dental treatment costs due to premature wear and tear. So, it is best to quit tobacco use at the earliest.
For more information on our dental services, schedule an appointment with our dentist at Hallmark Dental Group or visit our dental office in St George at 335 East St George Blvd #201, Saint George, UT 84770.