Help Protect Your Teeth by Avoiding these Foods
The foods you eat can affect your physical, mental and oral health. Eating and/or drinking unhealthy foods (e.g. sugary or starchy foods) in excess can contribute to bacteria and cause tooth decay or gum disease. Contact between sugary and starchy foods and plaque can cause acids that break down tooth enamel over time. This is basically the definition of tooth decay.
What you eat matters as much to oral health as good oral hygiene. Moreover, avoiding certain foods can help protect your mouth from common teeth problems. Here are some of the types of foods that should be consumed in moderation or avoided.
Acidic foods are notorious for causing tooth and gum problems. Citric fruits and/or juices are leading contributors to enamel erosion, leaving teeth susceptible to decay. Fruits like lemons and limes can also irritate the mouth and gums or even cause painful sores. To avoid erosion, tooth decay and irritation, limit your intake of citric fruits and acidic fruit drinks.
Soft Drinks, Coffee, Tea, Alcohol and Sports Drinks
Unfortunately, many drinks can contain large amounts of sugar and acid, especially soft drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol and sports drinks.
· Soft Drinks: Not only do acidic, sugary soft drinks attack enamel, contribute to plaque and bacteria, cause cavities and stain the teeth, caffeine in these drinks dries out the mouth and causes bad breath.
· Coffee and Tea: Caffeine in coffee and tea can also cause dry mouth and bad breath. While coffee and tea are not unhealthy drink options on their own, they pose more of a risk when paired with sugar. The solution is to use healthy sugar substitutes and to limit your coffee and tea intake.
· Alcohol: Alcohol causes dry mouth, and excessive consumption can reduce saliva flow, leading to oral infections, tooth decay and gum disease. Excessive alcohol use also increases the risk of mouth cancer.
· Sports Drinks: Sugar is the number one ingredient in sports drinks. So, like other sugary drinks, sports drinks can cause tooth decay, cavities, weakened enamel and gum disease.
Candy is a common culprit of cavities and tooth decay. Eating too much candy causes your teeth and gums to have constant contact with sugar. Such contact can cause various teeth and gum problems, including cavities, infections, gum disease and chipped or broken teeth. To avoid these issues, you should significantly limit the amount of candy you eat, avoid hard candy and choose sugar-free gum and candy.
If you consume any of these foods or drinks regularly and have teeth and/or gum issues related to their consumption, contact our dental clinic. Edmonton families can visit Bennett Dental for all their oral health needs.