The foods you choose to eat every day have a huge impact on your overall health, but they also affect the health and appearance of your teeth and gums.
Over-eating sugary and acidic food and drink leads to tooth decay, the single most prevalent childhood disease, which can have further detrimental impacts on your overall health and add up to lifelong oral health complications that compromise the look and function of your teeth.
Luckily, plaque and tartar and the complications that they lead to can be prevented: Aside from sticking to an oral health routine, avoiding these eight foods and drinks will help you optimise your oral health.
The acid content in citrus fruits can be detrimental to your oral health.
This is because acid erodes enamel, the tough outer layer of skin that protects the tooth, which makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay. On top of this, acid often instigates mouth sores and is bothersome to existing sores and cuts in the mouth.
To get your fill of the vitamin C and antioxidants provided by citrus fruits, consider adding a vitamin C supplement to your diet. If you do consume citrus or citrus juices, try to do so at meal times to neutralise the effects of the acid and always drink plenty of water afterward.
- Sticky (Dry) Fruits
Otherwise healthy fruits, such as raisin, figs, and apricots, become sticky when dried. What’s more, dried fruits have lost the majority of their water content, meaning that only their sugar content remains.
When you consume them, bits of dried fruit adhere to the surface of your teeth and hold sugar on the enamel, instigating tooth decay.
For a healthier snack, opt for their non-dried counterparts, which clean the teeth and have an increased water content for neutralising acid in the mouth.
- Chewy Candies
Chewy candies function in the same manner as sticky dry fruits, adhering to the enamel and becoming lodged in hard to reach areas.
To satiate sweet cravings, reach for chocolate or fruits instead.
- Crunchy Chips
Another surprising addition to the list, potato chips are bad for both your waistline and your oral health.
This is because potato chips are full of starches that feed the bacteria in plaque. The sharp edges of chips can also become lodged in the gum line and cause mouth sores.
Because it’s composed of water, many believe that chewing on ice is perfectly fine, but that is simply not the case.
Chewing on any hard substances, such as your pen or pencils, fingernails, and even ice can cause major damage to your teeth. This can include chips, cracks, loose crowns, and broken teeth.
Experienced and professional like dentist in Ormskirk can advise concerning bad oral habits and how to stop them.
Coffee, red wines, and teas all contain ingredients called tannins that cause colour compounds to stick to the teeth, staining them yellow.
For heavy coffee, tea, and wine drinkers, this staining cannot be dealt with simply by brushing, and professional whitening services may become necessary to restore the colour of your teeth.
When choosing your drinks, remember: if it can stain your clothes, it will stain your teeth and opt for water instead.
- Sugary Drinks
Sugary and carbonated juice dry out your mouth and essentially coat your teeth in acid, instigating tooth decay. What’s more, dark-coloured sodas can also stain the teeth as badly as tea and coffee.
Saliva does more than help us digest our food: it also keeps the teeth healthy.
Consuming alcohol dries out your mouth and removes beneficial saliva. When consuming alcohol, always remember to rehydrate your mouth with water.
The importance of good dental hygiene
While avoiding these foods is a good rule of thumb, doing so is not always possible or convenient. That is why it is essential to maintain a good oral health routine as well as limiting sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
For optimum dental health and to prevent dental issues from occurring in the first place, never go to bed without brushing your teeth and always brush your tongue and teeth properly with a dentist-approved toothpaste.
Don’t forget that flossing the teeth is as important as brushing for removing the plaque your toothbrush can’t reach. Mouthwash can also be an indispensable tool for reducing the amount of acid in your mouth, re-mineralising the teeth, and helping to wash away plaque.
By planning your snacks, sticking to a good oral health routine, and keeping up with your regular dental appointments, you can prevent problems with your oral health and maintain your beautiful smile.
Located in Ormskirk, the Northway Dental Practice is a well equipped and reputable dental clinic headed by Dr. Andrew Crosby and Dr. Priyal Crosby highly experienced in the area of cosmetic and conservative dentistry.