Your teeth do the important job of breaking each piece of food you eat into digestible pieces. They allow you to enjoy your favorite snacks, whether those consist of sticky candies or soft fruit. However, many of these foods can damage your teeth, resulting in cavities, gum disease, and discoloration. Not only are these conditions a detriment to your dental health, but they can worsen the appearance of your teeth. If you’re among the 33% of people in the United States who are unhappy with the look of their teeth, you don’t need any more foods to do aesthetic damage to them.
One of the best things you can do for your hard-working teeth is to avoid foods that damage them. This is easier said than done. Many common foods are surprisingly bad for your dental health and can have negative effects over time. Let’s take a look at a few of the foods that are the worst for your chompers.
Although some of your favorite citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and other healthy nutrients, they aren’t quite as beneficial for your teeth. Citrus such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons have a high acid content that can erode enamel. With less enamel, your teeth are more vulnerable to decay. Citrus juices have the same effect and even a squeeze of lemon or lime into water adds acid that can damage your teeth. To minimize the negative effects of these fruits, eat and drink them in moderation at mealtimes and rinse your mouth with water afterward to wash away the damaging acids.
Many people assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack, but they’re not the best for your teeth. This is because they are notoriously sticky. Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, and prunes tend to cling on your teeth and in their crevices. During their stay on your chompers, these pieces of dried fruit leave behind a significant amount of sugar. When you eat dried fruits, it is best to rinse your mouth with water and follow up with brushing and flossing. This is the surest way to get the stubborn, sticky pieces out of your teeth and prevent them from leaving sugar behind.
Unfortunately, this basic food takes its toll on your teeth. Your saliva breaks down bread’s starches into sugar as you chew it, transforming it into a gummy paste-like substance. This sugar-filled substance sticks in the crevices between your teeth and can cause cavities. If bread is a main staple of your diet, go for less-refined varieties at the supermarket, such as whole wheat. These forms of bread contain less added sugars that aren’t broken down as easily. If you’re going out to a restaurant and research it online before you arrive, which 90% of guests do, keep an eye out for dishes that use wheat bread and similar varieties in their sandwiches and sides. This will help you maintain your healthy set of teeth while enjoying a delicious meal out.
A beloved snack of children and adults everywhere, potato chips can pose a danger to your teeth. Similar to bread, potato chips contain a hefty amount of starch. This starch has the same negative effects as the starch in bread and can lead to the formation of cavities. Unfortunately, there aren’t less-refined versions of potato chips you can substitute for your normal chips. If you want to munch on some chips, you’ll just need to take extra care to brush and floss afterward to remove the food particles that lead to cavities and plaque build-up.
Candies and Sweets
This one probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but it is still worth mentioning. Sticky candies and sweets are filled with refined sugar, which clings to your teeth and damages them. Try to avoid candies that tend to stay on your teeth for a while, such as caramels and lollipops. If you want to indulge your sweet tooth, go for candies that clear out of your mouth quickly. Chocolate tends to not be as bad for your teeth as other sugary treats and dark chocolate can actually benefit your overall health.
By limiting these foods within your diet, you can boost the health of your teeth. Get on your way to better dental health and a better-looking smile by choosing foods that can benefit, rather than harm, your teeth.