When it comes to nutrition, your mouth and teeth are no different from other areas of the body. Eating a diet high in sugar, carbohydrates, and starches can increase the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. This is because the bacteria in the mouth feed off the foods you eat.
The American Dental Association recommends avoiding sugary foods and drinks, as well as sticky foods, in order to prevent tooth decay. Additionally, foods high in starch are not good for the teeth either. Starchy foods tend to get stuck in between teeth, which can make teeth more prone to decay. Here is a list of a few foods and beverages that are harmful for our oral health:
Fruit juice contains a lot of natural sugars, which can cause cavities. The sticky sugars in juice can linger on your teeth and form a biofilm that feeds off sugar. If you consume fruit juice, make sure you’re brushing your teeth afterward.
Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. However, the caffeine present in coffee can also increase your risk of tooth decay. Coffee, tea, and soda are all common sources of caffeine in the American diet. Sugar in these beverages can cause plaque buildup and eventually lead to tooth decay. This is especially true if you consume these beverages frequently throughout the day.
If you do enjoy these beverages, be sure to drink them in moderation. Drink them only at mealtimes or during snack time, and brush your teeth immediately after consumption. When you brush your teeth, be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled brushes can damage your teeth and gums.
Soft drinks and other sugary beverages have almost no nutritional value and can contribute to cavities. Cavities are formed by a buildup of plaque on teeth, so anything that can lead to plaque buildup is bad news for dental health.
The acid in soda and other sugary drinks can also wear down your enamel, causing sensitivity and pain and leaving them more vulnerable to decay. If you drink soda or other sugary drinks regularly, consider cutting back or cutting out the habit entirely.
It’s common for athletes to think of sports drinks as healthy alternatives to water, but they actually harm tooth enamel and can cause cavities. This is because sports drinks are high in acid and sugar. The high acid content erodes tooth enamel and can eventually lead to tooth sensitivity. The high sugar content feeds the bacteria that cause plaque and tartar buildup.
Alcohol reduces saliva production and can also have a negative impact on tooth enamel. Alcohol is also acidic. This means it can break down tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. When you do drink, use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
Nicotine increases your risk for oral cancer, and chewing tobacco also puts you at risk for mouth cancer. Tobacco products also increase your risk for gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay. Tobacco products are highly addictive. It’s not always easy to quit, but it’s important to try. Your doctor can help you come up with strategies to help you quit for good.
Sticky foods can get caught between the teeth, which makes it harder to remove food particles and plaque. Some sticky foods include caramel, taffy, gummy candy, and dried fruit.
Hard foods, like nuts, ice, and popcorn, can crack and chip teeth.
Briarwood Family Dentistry, located in Aurora, CO, offers the best and most gentle dental care services to patients. Dial (303) 680-6000 and book an appointment with us to learn more about our dental services.
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