Itâ€™s no secret that certain goodies threaten your health. A healthy diet is important for your weight and your heart. But how much do you know about the foods and drinks that also affect your teeth? Our team at Bright Star Dental wants to help you achieve your best oral health. Thatâ€™s why we offer nutritional therapy so you can make informed decisions about how to best preserve your smile.
Sugar Isnâ€™t The Only Threat To Your Teeth
Since childhood, youâ€™ve probably been hearing all about how you shouldnâ€™t eat too much candy or other sugary treats if you want to avoid tooth decay and cavities. Fair enough.
But sugar isnâ€™t the only thing we consume that could be bad for your teeth.
Acids – Â Some of the things you eat and drink have high acidity levels. The acids can eat away at your tooth enamel and weaken it. Once that happens, youâ€™re more susceptible to cavities and decay because the bacteria doesnâ€™t have to work as hard to penetrate into your teeth and its soft inner tissues.
Texture – We use our teeth as tools for eating things that are hard or tough. This is important to your nutrition and survival, but it also means that some things you eat can wear down your teeth and cause damage like chips, cracks, and breaks.
Carbohydrates – Just like sugar, carbs are a favorite of the bacteria that lives in your mouth. So you have to be careful about the refined carbohydrates found in foods like pasta, for example. You shouldn’t avoid carbs entirely, but being mindful of your carb intake and the sources of your carbohydrates can help preserve your healthy smile.
Foods And Drinks That Could Be Hurting Your Smile
It may surprise you, but these are a few of the things youâ€™re eating and drinking that pose a threat to your teeth and gums:
- Fruit Juices & Energy Drinks
Fruit juices and energy drinks that line store shelves can be a little tricky for consumers because theyâ€™re designed to appear like a healthy alternative to things like soft drinks. While that may be true in some respects, what many people donâ€™t realize is just how much sugar you find in those processed drinks. Sports drinks give you a quick boost of energy, but thatâ€™s because of the high sugar content. Drinking fruit juices may make you feel like youâ€™re making a healthy choice because the vitamins you find in fruit. But the high acidity and the added sugar both make it easier for the bacteria in your mouth to grow and cause decay and cavities.
Thereâ€™s nothing like a delicious tub of buttery popcorn to munch on while youâ€™re at the movie theater, but it poses certain risks to your smile. Not only does popcorn easily get stuck between your teeth, but every now and then, you bite down on those hard kernels that didnâ€™t quite heat up enough to pop into light, fluffy goodness. This can damage your teeth, so itâ€™s important to be careful.
- Diet Soda
You might think that switching from regular soda to diet soda is a healthy choice. And perhaps in terms of caloric intake, it is. But when it comes to your oral health, diet soda is no better than regular soda! The high acidity weakens your tooth enamel and leaves you vulnerable to erosion, cavities, and decay. Oh, say it ainâ€™t so, soda!
- Pasta Sauce
We love our tomato-based marinara poured over our noodles, but it can be harmful to your pearly whites. For one thing, the dark pigment in pasta sauce can stain your teeth over a period of time. Another danger to your smile is the high acid and hidden sugars in most of those processed brands you find in stores, both of which can cause erosion and decay.
Cold ice on a hot day can be very refreshing, but it can really do a number on your teeth. Like popcorn kernels, it would be very easy to damage your teeth while breaking this hard snack down if youâ€™re not careful. It doesnâ€™t have to be from biting down the wrong way on a cube and breaking a tooth, either. It can also,Â over a long period of time, slowly wear your teeth down and affect the symmetry of your smile.