What goes into your mouth on a daily basis plays a serious role in your oral health. It is not only important to know what foods your teeth can benefit from, but it’s also equally important to be aware of the dangerous culprits, some of which may be surprising.
It’s not necessarily the ice that’s bad, but chewing on ice can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loosened crowns. You can use your ice to chill beverages, but don’t chew on it.
Just because they’re sold as a medicine doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy for you. Cough drops are full of sugar to make them taste better. It’s really no different than eating hard candy. And not only do we often let a cough drop melt in our mouths to do its job, but multiple cough drops may be needed throughout the day, which is bad news for your teeth. On the bright side, there are several alternative natural remedies for a sore throat.
A recent study found that drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine! Carbonated sodas enable plaque to produce more acid to attack tooth enamel. Plus, dark-colored sodas can discolor and stain your teeth.
Sports drinks such as Gatorade and BodyArmor may be refreshing during a workout, but these drinks are usually high in sugar, whether it’s dextrose, glucose or high fructose corn syrup. Like soda or candy, sugary sports drinks create an acid attack on the enamel of your teeth, and drinking them frequently can lead to decay. A better way to stay hydrated at the gym is by drinking pure water.
Fruit juice may be made from healthy fruits, but they are also full of harmful added sugar. Some juices can even have as much sugar as soda. Fruits are naturally sweet, so always look for 100% juice with no added sugar. Better yet, make your own juice!
Starchy foods aren’t only bad for your weight and digestive tract. Bacteria in plaque break down starches into acids that erode the teeth, and further damage is done when the starches get stuck in places a tooth brush can’t reach. But for a lot of us, it’s hard to resist a delicious baked ziti, in which case, be sure to brush and floss after eating!
Coffee easily stains the teeth because its acidic properties and dark color work hand-in-hand. The acids erode the teeth while allowing the color to seep in and unfortunately adding creamer won’t lighten the process! However, coffee stains are one of the easiest stains to treat with various whitening methods. Please contact us if you’re concerned about discoloration of your teeth.
You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but cigarettes and other tobacco products can stain teeth, cause gum disease and lead to tooth loss. Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue, of course. If you were looking for one more reason to quit, think of your smile.
We all know that drinking alcohol isn’t exactly healthy. But did you know that drinking alcohol dries out the mouth? And a dry mouth equals less saliva which is essential for the health of your mouth. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth and washes away food particles. It even helps repair early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. Alcohol also contains a lot of acid which damages the teeth. Red wine contains a deep pigment called chromogen and tannins. Combine that with the acids over time and you get not-so-white teeth.
Citrus fruits and juices are both delicious and full of good-old vitamin C. But their acid content can erode enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay. Even squeezing a lemon or lime into water adds acid to a drink. Try to rinse your mouth with water after consuming citrus.
It’s technically fruit, but it’s the sticky kind. Dried fruit gets stuck and clings to teeth and their crevices, leaving behind a lot of the sugar. Of course fresh fruit would a better alternative, but if you’re a lover of dried fruit, try to brush and floss after eating it.
Now that you know what to steer your teeth clear of, you can take better preventative steps to keep your mouth healthier. Some of these subjects are more serious than others, but it’s never too late to modify bad habits and start fresh. If you currently have a dental problem that needs attention, do not wait to see us! To make an appointment, click here or call 312-943-6444.