October 13 2021 by Mills Haven Dental
There are a lot of foods that aren’t great for your teeth or gums. We’ll go over 10 of them and how you can minimize their damage on your teeth.
Now, before we dive in, we’re not telling you to AVOID these foods. Rather, we want you to be conscious of what you’re eating and the effect it may have on your teeth. The key is to practice great hygiene habits combined with moderating the foods that are bad for your teeth.
Citric acid is the #1 cause of enamel wear and cavities. Your morning glass of orange juice has a lot of health benefits, but the fact is that it isn’t the healthiest option for your teeth. Try using a reusable straw the next time you make breakfast.
You should also avoid brushing your teeth right after eating acidic foods, like grapefruit, limes, or even tomatoes. Your enamel will soften after eating and brushing may be too rough on your tooth’s surface.
Sticky and chewy foods, like dried fruit, can get caught in between the crevices of your teeth. Unlike many other foods, your saliva can’t wash the residue away—it’s stuck! The longer the sticky substance is on your teeth, the more time plaque-causing bacteria can get comfortable. We recommend carrying a bit of floss around to use after a tasty, sticky snack.
SIDE NOTE: We also consider starch-based foods, like bread and chips, in this "sticky" category. Starchy food particles also tend to linger and get stuck, so make sure you floss after a particularly doughy meal.
Most sodas are full of sugar and acids, which are not your smile’s best friends. Soft drinks increase your likelihood of getting cavities and other dental erosion. We recommend limiting the number of soft drinks you have each week, and when you do indulge, try using a straw! Avoid brushing your teeth right after a pop.
PRO TIP: Who doesn’t love ice in their pop? Do your best NOT to chew on ice because it increases your likelihood of chipping a tooth and the risk of enamel wear.
You might not like what we say next. Coffee isn’t great for your dental hygiene. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can also increase the acids in your mouth (which you already know isn’t a good thing). Coffee also has a way of lingering on your tongue and taste buds, which is why many of us have bad breath after our second cup of joe.
Do your best to cut down the amount of coffee you drink in the morning. A couple cups is okay, but consider swapping out that third cup for some green tea.
Wine, beer, and hard liquor aren’t terrible for your overall health in moderation, but they do have a negative effect on your dental hygiene—even in small amounts. Alcohol dries out your mouth, which means that you lose saliva. Saliva is important to our dental hygiene because it cleans away all those little bacteria throughout the day, as well as protects against infection.