Nutrition plays an important role in oral health.
Dietary choices have a considerable impact on oral health, as well as overall health. When it comes to keeping your smile in good shape, there are a few things you should know about the foods that you choose to eat. Certain foods can cause plaque to form on the teeth and along the gum line, which can contribute to issues like tooth decay and gum disease. So which foods are best avoided for the sake of your smile?
This may come as a surprise, but bread can actually cause some damage to your teeth. Every time that you eat bread, the saliva in your mouth breaks down the starches into sugar. This sugar, which takes on a sticky texture, often gets stuck to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, as well as in between the teeth and along the gum line.
This can lead to the formation of plaque in these areas, which can cause dental erosion and cavities over time. If you do enjoy bread from time to time, try to choose a type that is less refined and contains less sugar, such as whole wheat.
2. Chips and crackers
Many of us enjoy snacking on crunchy carbohydrates like chips and crackers, but unfortunately these popular foods are not great for our teeth. These types of snacks are packed with starch, which is transformed into sugar when we chew them. This sugar tends to get stuck in the teeth and the bacteria in plaque feeds on it and produces harmful acids in the mouth.
The production of acid that is triggered by eating a snack like chips usually lasts for some time in the mouth and can lead to cavities over time. If you do enjoy the occasional starchy snack, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards and floss your teeth to get rid of any leftover food particles.
3. Citrus fruits
Although they are packed with vitamins and other nutrients, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are highly acidic. This high level of acidity can wear at the enamel of the teeth over time, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional citrus fruit, try to enjoy these acidic snacks in moderation only. It is also helpful to rinse your mouth with water after eating a citrus fruit or drinking it in its juiced form.
Lollies are packed with sugar, which can have detrimental effects on your oral health. But did you know that some types of candy are worse than others when it comes to their impact on your teeth?
Sour candy is particularly acidic and can damage the enamel of your teeth, while chewy lollies can easily get stuck in the teeth for long periods of time, which exposes your enamel to sugar and acids. Hard lollies also tend to stay in the mouth for a long time, increasing your risk of decay.
5. Fizzy drinks
Carbonated drinks are a no-no when it comes to your oral health. Many of these beverages contain large amounts of sugar, but even those that are sugar-free tend to be very acidic. Fizzy drinks promote the production of harmful acids in the mouth, which coat the teeth and attack the enamel. On top of that, they often dry out the mouth, and can also cause stains and discolouration on the surface of the teeth.
How can we help?
At Crookes & Jenkins Dental, we love to help our patients maintain their oral health for life. We understand that dental health awareness is extremely important, and we are available to discuss your concerns with you whenever you come in and see us.
If you have any questions about your lifestyle, dietary choices, and oral hygiene routine and how these factors may be affecting your smile, we encourage you to raise them with us. Our team will give you all the information you need to keep your smile in great condition.
We encourage all of our patients to come in and see us every six months for a routine check-up and clean. If it’s been a while since your last visit and you would like to book an appointment to see us, please contact us here.