When you eat a healthy, balanced diet, your body gets all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. This, in turn, helps promote good oral health. On the other hand, when you eat some other foods, your teeth and gums are exposed to sugar or acid for an extended period of time. This constant exposure to acid can lead to tooth decay. Here are the foods and beverages that are the main offenders of good oral health:
Sugary foods are one of the biggest enemies of your teeth, and your hygienist can’t stress this enough. The bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugars in food and produce acid that wears down the enamel on your tooth. This increases your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Candies and hard sweets like lollipops are some of the worst foods for oral health. That’s because they’re extremely sticky and sugary. These candies love to cling to teeth, which means they can also adhere to cracks and crevices in the teeth.
The longer those sticky and sugary candies sit on teeth, the more they break down enamel. Eventually, this can erode away tooth enamel and lead to cavities.
The hot sauce that you enjoy with your Mexican food, hot sauce for your chicken wings, and other spicy sauces like mustard and ketchup can wreak havoc on your smile. Not only can spicy and acidic foods cause tooth erosion, but they can also trigger tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity occurs when your teeth react to certain foods and beverages with pain. Tooth sensitivity can make it difficult to eat, drink, and engage in social activities. However, it can be treated. Talk to a dentist about tooth sensitivity for treatment options.
Soda and energy drinks contain high amounts of acids and sugar. Both are known to harm your teeth. When you drink these beverages, the sugar and acids can erode the enamel on your teeth, exposing the sensitive dentin. The sugar in soda and energy drinks can also feed the bacteria in your mouth, which produce acids that further weaken the enamel.
Many citrus fruits are high in acid, which can wear away enamel. This can leave teeth susceptible to erosion, cavities, and dental stains. The most common symptom of enamel erosion is tooth sensitivity. If you notice that your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks, it could be a sign of enamel erosion.
Energy drinks, sports drinks, and soda all contain acid and sugar, which are ingredients that harm teeth. Sports drinks, in particular, are high in acidity, and they are also high in sugar and sodium. The combination of these ingredients is particularly bad for teeth. If sports drinks are consumed, they should be consumed through a straw, and you should rinse your mouth with water after consumption.
Alcoholic beverages are some of the worst foods for your oral health. Drinking red wine, beer, or liquor increases your risk for tooth decay, dry mouth, and bad breath. The sugars in alcohol can break down tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
In addition, alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which can contribute to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Saliva neutralizes the acids in your mouth, which break down tooth enamel. When there’s low saliva production, acid can linger in your mouth, causing harm.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, make sure to brush your teeth afterward. You should also drink water to stay hydrated and wash away the sugars, acids, and other debris.
Coffee and tea are some of the worst drinks for your oral health. Unfortunately, both of these beverages contain high amounts of acid that wear away your tooth enamel, making your teeth sensitive and susceptible to decay. If you want to enjoy your morning cup of coffee or tea, try drinking it through a straw. This will allow the drink to bypass your teeth. If drinking through a straw isn’t an option, you should still try to limit your intake of these beverages. Try to drink them only during mealtimes, and drink water afterward to rinse your teeth.
To learn more about our good oral care practices, visit Amin Taba D.D.S. PLLC at 5701 Northeast Bothell Way Suite 3, Kenmore, WA 98028. Call us at (425) 486-9233 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.