We try to be conscious of what we eat and how it affects our bodies and health. But that also needs to include our teeth and not just our figures. There are foods that are bad for us before they even make their way to our stomachs. We’ve talked about some of the best foods you can eat to promote a healthy smile, but what about the foods you shouldn’t be eating? Those foods that could potentially compromise or damage your pearly whites? Here’s a list of some of the worst foods for your teeth.
Okay, so it’s not really a food or even a beverage, but it is something people chew on. And quite frequently at that. Many people have the bad habit of chewing on ice when they’re finished with their beverage. Ice is terrible for your teeth. Sure, it might not cause tartar buildup, but chewing can result in major damage. Chewing on ice can cause damage to your tooth enamel. In addition, chewing on something hard, such as ice, can leave your teeth susceptible to cracks and chips. If you want to prevent a costly visit to the dentist, let the ice melt in your cup.
White Bread and Pasta
Yes, your parents and grandparents grew up on white bread and pasta; however, we can assure you, it didn’t do their teeth any favors. But they also didn’t have all the healthier varieties that we have now, so we won’t hold it against them. White starches are full of sugar. And, even worse, when you chew them up, they get sticky, causing a sugary paste to stick to your teeth and gums. This leads to potential cavities. To lessen your risk of developing cavities from starchy sugars, opt for breads and pasta that aren’t high in refined sugars, such as whole grain, sprouted grain, or seeded loaves of bread.
Dried fruits make a great snack and alternative to junk food like chips and candy. However, many of them can put your smile at risk. You think you’re making the right choice. They’re fruit, after all. But, sadly, a lot of the dried fruit you buy in the grocery store is coated in sugar. Not to mention they are chewy and sticky, which causes them to get stuck in your teeth. If you are going to eat them, be diligent in brushing your teeth immediately after consuming them.
There’s always a love-hate relationship with alcohol. We’re told it’s not good for us, but then studies say a glass of red wine is heart healthy. Even if you take away all the sugar that is usually found in alcoholic drinks, the act of consuming alcohol has the tendency to leave you dehydrated and your mouth dry. Dry mouth means you aren’t producing enough saliva to flush out toxins and rinse your mouth and teeth of lingering food particles. This not only makes your breath smell bad, but it can cause tooth decay.
Acidic Fruits and Vegetables
Your body needs fruits and vegetables for healthy living, but some could potentially harm your teeth. Fruits and vegetables that are highly acidic, such as oranges, grapefruits, and tomatoes, can eat away at the enamel on your teeth. As mentioned earlier, damaged enamel leads to weakened teeth that become more prone to cavities and decay. We’re not saying to avoid these nutrient-packed foods. Because, yes, they are good for you and provide many health benefits. But if you do consume these, make sure you’re eating them with other foods and that you are following a good oral care routine.
Candy is obviously one of the worst foods for your teeth, but when you add the sour component, it makes the sugary treat so much worse for your teeth. With sour candy, your teeth are not only battling all the sugar that makes up the candy, but they’re also being affected by several different types of acids. Substances like citric acid are harsh on your teeth and wear away the enamel on your teeth.
Take Notice of What You Eat to Protect Your Teeth
All food will eventually cause some sort of tooth wear in time. It’s just a matter of avoiding those specific worst foods for your teeth that can do real damage to your smile. Eating bad foods results in poor health for your teeth. If possible, try to avoid the foods mentioned above or at least limit your consumption of them. And when you do eat them, be sure to brush your teeth and follow a good oral hygiene routine to protect your smile. If you have any questions about what other foods you should avoid, discuss them with your dentist. And if you do end up suffering from any type of dental damage, schedule an appointment with your dentist and find out what treatments are available.