Fact: nobody looks forward to visiting the dentist for their biannual check up. Whether you hate the dentist or not, sometimes the necessary poking and prodding can be uncomfortable. But that’s nothing compared to the discomfort, pain and expense of some of the more invasive and advanced procedures like fillings and root canals. Everyone knows they need to brush their teeth, floss and use mouthwash to avoid those nasty surprises, but there are also some everyday foods you should avoid to lower your chances of needing dental work.
We all know that soft drinks are full of sugars that are bad for our teeth, so many people decide to make the switch to drinking water instead. For a lot of us this also means adding ice for the refreshing chill, though admittedly this could be the case for your evening fizzy drink as well. You’d be amazed how many people think that ice is good for their teeth, or at least that it isn’t damaging them. After all, it is made of water and it doesn’t contain any sugar or additives that might be toxic. But ice comes with it’s own hazards – it’s really tempting (and nice) to chew. But chewing on hard substances like ice can leave your teeth vulnerable, especially if they are sensitive anyway. You could also end up booking an emergency dentist appointment if you bit down too hard and chip a tooth.
Fruit might be good for your health, but it can be incredibly damaging to your teeth. Frequent exposure to acidic foods causes the enamel on your teeth to erode and be more susceptible to decay. The most common foods to include acid are citrus based fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. Whether you’re eating bowlfuls for breakfast or just squeezing a bit of lemon juice into your water, it’s not always the best choice for your teeth. These fruits can also irritate any abscess or sores in your mouth, so you should avoid them if you are suffering. Make sure you drink plenty of water after eating citrus fruits to rinse any residual acids from your teeth and prevent damage.
Lots of people enjoy a drink, but moderation is key for more than just one reason. Alcohol, despite being a liquid, causes dehydration and dry mouth. You might be asking, how is that bad for your teeth? But people who drink a lot may find that their saliva flow reduces over time, and this can have consequences for your oral hygiene. Reduced saliva and dry mouth leave your mouth vulnerable to tooth decay and oral infections like gum disease. Very heavy alcohol abuse can also increase your risk of mouth cancer. We’re not saying you need to stop drinking altogether, just make sure you moderate your consumption and stay hydrated.
High carb sports drinks boasting an ability to help you maintain hydration and improve performance might sound great, but they could be doing you more damage than you know. Sugar is often the top ingredient in most of these sports and energy drinks, making them viscous and sweet and bad for your teeth. Not only are they high in acids, but the thick sweet liquid can stick to your teeth for much longer than normal foods, leaving the sugar time to start eroding the enamel and eating away at the tooth behind it. When it comes to your teeth and your health, you really can’t get much better than good old H2O.
As a general rule, sticky foods are your mouth’s worst nightmare. So when you’re trying to eat healthy or take care of your teeth, dried fruits or fruit and nut mixes can seem like a good option. But many dried fruits are sticky as soon as you start chewing. Sticky foods can be damaging to your teeth because they tend to stay on your teeth longer than other types of food. This allows them to deposit sugars ands attract bacteria, all of which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If you find yourself snacking on dried fruits often, make sure you rinse your mouth with water when you’re done and floss between your teeth in the evening to get rid of any traces and leftover food.
For more tips and advice on how to take care of your teeth, or what to avoid eating, get in touch today and arrange your consultation and check up.