5 Foods to Avoid for Healthier Teeth
95% of adults between 20 and 64 have had tooth decay at some point. Obviously, this is a widespread problem which needs improvement. Part of the problem is dental regimen as only 70% of adults report daily tooth brushing and only 37% of adults floss daily. Another important contributing factor is diet. At Providence Dental Spa, we want to support you in achieving your best oral health. We can always recommend the best practices for at-home care in between your visits with us, but we would also like to make you aware of some particularly damaging foods and drinks.
- Alcohol—Yes, you can blame it on the alcohol. Anyone who drinks alcohol has experienced the dry mouth sensation it brings. When your mouth does not have enough saliva, your teeth are more likely to hold onto food. Saliva also is helpful with the early stages of tooth decay, oral infections, and gum disease. If you choose to drink, make sure to hydrate with plenty of water to avoid dry mouth. Also, a fluoride rinse afterwards would be appropriate.
- Sodas—With the average soda having over 35 grams of sugar in a 12 ounce can, it is not surprising that they are a poor choice for your teeth. The list of offenses by sodas add up quickly. They can cause tooth staining, attack your teeth with high acidity, and enable plaque to build up. Sodas also can cause the dry mouth problems as mentioned with alcohol. Diet sodas are not exempt from this damage either. If you choose to drink a soda, drink water afterwards to wash away some of the coating on your teeth and avoid dry mouth. Also, using a straw can help bypass some of the damage to your teeth.
- Gummy Candy—Sticky and sweet, some dentists even claim that gummies are what keep them in business. In addition to all the candy varieties, there are also countless medicines which come in gummy format now. Although they may be easier to take than a giant pill, gummy vitamins and medications can be problematic for your teeth as they stick to your teeth longer as well. Sour gummies are probably the most dangerous variety because they have additional acidity which can wreak havoc on your teeth. If you decide to stick with gummies for candy or for medicinal purposes, be specifically aware of cleaning carefully between your teeth.
- Chips—Many people overlook salty, starchy foods as dangerous for teeth because they are not sweet. Starches are broken down into sugars which get trapped between your teeth and feed plaque just like anything else loaded with sugar. When you finish munching on chips, make sure to floss carefully to catch all the particles caught between your teeth.
- Bread—Bread is another starchy food which gets converted to sugar and damages teeth. Bread when combined with your saliva can become like a paste stuck between all your teeth. Flossing can help tremendously with this problem. When you are choosing your loaf at the store, consider purchasing a whole wheat variety of bread because it contains less sugar and breaks down less easily.
Although outright avoidance of these foods may not suit your lifestyle, reducing your intake and prioritizing your oral health regimen can help protect your teeth from serious decay. If you are looking for alternative food choices which will be better for your teeth and overall health, we will be glad to offer suggestions. Contact Providence Dental Spa today!