Are you satisfied with your smile? Do you have strong and healthy teeth? While heredity and family genes play a role in the canvas that you have to work with, one of the single most important factors that needs to be present in the maintenance of a healthy smile is a healthy diet.
Proper nutrition plays a key role in oral health; following a healthy diet and avoiding sugary, sweet, sticky and acidic foods will aid you in keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy for a long time.
Consuming a number of “forbidden” foods, however, causes long-term damage due to the process of food residue eroding teeth. Foods that are sticky, sugary, and acidic cling to teeth, doing damage to enamel and settling in soft gum tissue in and around the gumline. If your oral hygiene habits aren’t up to snuff at home, and if you are not making regular visits to your dentist, you may find yourself with a painful and embarrassing situation in your mouth.
Knowing what foods to avoid…and what you may eat in moderation will aid you in keeping your smile healthy and bright long after your lollipop sucking friends have paid for additional dental procedures. Here is a list of some “forbidden fruits” that you should consider moving to the moderation category:
While sucking on a Tootsie pop might seem like a harmless activity, hard candy can leave a sticky coating that clings to your teeth long after the treat is gone. In addition, biting down on these hard, forgiving treats has resulted too many times in emergency trips to the dentist to repair cracked, broken, and chipped teeth. Avoid these treats whenever possible.
How can frozen water be harmful to teeth? Chewing on hard surfaces, no matter what their chemical composition, can be detrimental to enamel, causing breaks and cracks in teeth. Curb this habit and start sucking instead, or better yet--start enjoying water in its liquid form.
While citrus foods are good for the body, they are not necessarily good for the teeth. Overly acidic foods and drinks can cause enamel to erode, making the soft tissues underneath susceptible to decay. Consume plenty of fresh, clean water, and if you must indulge in acidic juices and fruits, brush your teeth soon afterward.
While straight, black coffee is not necessarily detrimental to teeth, drinking excessive amounts can dry out your mouth, allowing bacteria to build up easily. Over time, drinking copious amounts of coffee and tea can stain your teeth, giving the appearance of a neglected smile. Switch to sparkling water for a refreshing pick me up drink.
Sticky And Sweet Foods
Some foods like caramel and marshmallow are known for their sticky, gooey goodness. A surprising sticky culprit on this list is dried fruit. All sticky food can cling to and cause damage to teeth if the residue is not removed promptly after consumption. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly soon after eating to minimize damage from these sweet treats.
Most potato chips are soft enough for most people to crunch through; potato chips become dangerous when the starch present in potatoes is allowed to stay on teeth. Starch is a sticky substance that can easily be trapped on and around teeth; be sure to brush and floss if you have been munching and crunching recently.
Soda is a triple blow to teeth. Sugary sodas cling to teeth, compromising enamel strength. The acidic nature of most soda composition erodes tooth structures and settles far below the gumline, causing damage. Caffeine from soda dries out the mouth much like coffee, its caffeinated cousin. Do yourself a favor and switch to clean sipping to ensure that you don’t “wash” your healthy teeth away with this destructive drink.
Alcoholic beverages have a very high sugar content, and they are dehydrating to soft tissues in your mouth. People who drink to excess regularly have a reduced capacity for saliva production, which paves the way for decay to settle in quickly. Also, increased risks of cancer are present in people that consume alcohol.
Despite their “healthy” label, sports drinks are loaded with sugar. The benefits of added electrolytes and added minerals pale in comparison to the damage done with all of the sticky sweetness these drinks provide. Look for sports drinks that are lower in sugar or made from more natural ingredients to fuel your competitive fire.
While honey is a natural substance, its natural properties of sticky sweetness cling to teeth, wearing down enamel and making your teeth and gums susceptible to decay and disease. If you must indulge your sweet tooth with a bit o’ honey, clean your teeth soon afterward.
What Should I Be Eating?
Now that we’ve taken all of the fun out of your diet, it’s time to shift your nutritional focus to getting excited about all of the healthy choices that are available to you. Chowing down on plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins is the best way to make sure your smile stays white and bright. Couple your healthy diet with good oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist, and you will enjoy excellent oral health.
Partnering With You To Create A Beautiful Smile
Dr. Gordon Krueger, DDS, MS, PA and his talented team of associates care about your dental health. We want your smile to be its whitest and brightest, and we will work with you to create dental health that is second to none. We provide you with the tools, the services, and the education to create vibrant health; trust our professional staff for any and all of your dental health needs. Visit https://www.gordonekruegerdds.com for more information and to set up an appointment today. A sparkling smile is your destiny, let us help you create it.