There are two main elements of food that could tarnish your teeth: sugar and acid. Sugar feeds the bacteria that is already in your mouth. The bacteria then causes plaque build-up and produces acid which erodes your tooth enamel. Because acid naturally occurs in many foods, bacteria isn’t necessary to produce acid and cause tooth decay. Instead, acidic food eats away at your tooth enamel directly.
Certain foods are especially bad for your teeth, therefore it is best to avoid these 7 foods in order to keep your teeth healthy:
- Hard candy
In addition to being full of sugar, hard candy also puts you at risk of a dental emergency such as a chipped or cracked tooth.
- Citrus juice
Citrus fruit and juices are high in acid which can erode the tooth enamel. It can also irritate mouth sores, therefore, dentists recommend that you watch your citrus intake and make sure to drink plenty of water after you have consumed citrus fruits or juices.
- Dried fruit
Because dried fruit are sticky, it will stay on your teeth longer than other foods. Make sure that you rinse your mouth with water after eating dried fruit.
- Potato chips
Potato chips are not only filled with starch, it also softens and gets trapped in your teeth, allowing plaque to build up.
- Soft drinks
Plaque bacteria uses the sugar in soft drinks to produce acid that attacks your enamel. Caffeinated beverages can also dry out your mouth. If you consume soft drinks, do so alongside a glass of water.
Unfortunately, if you want your teeth to stay in one piece, mealies are to be avoided. Biting into the mealies on the cob could loosen or crack fillings or sealant, as well as damage orthodontic appliances. It is recommended that you scrape the corn off the cob before enjoying this summertime favourite.
- Pasta sauce
Because teeth are porous and vulnerable to dark colours, enamel can easily absorb the colouring used in pasta sauce, leading to stains. Additionally, the acid from the tomatoes can cause the tooth enamel to erode. When consuming pasta, ensure that you drink plenty of water.
While many of these foods are healthy for other reasons, you should try and care for your teeth soon after eating them. Drinking water with your meal, chewing sugar-less gum, rinsing with an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash or flossing and brushing with toothpaste, reduces the risk of damage.
Although these foods can be avoided to decrease the risk of tooth damage, regular dental visits is still the best way to care for your teeth, so contact us for a dentist in Cape Town.
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