Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly are all essential to maintaining oral health. But your diet plays more of a part in it than you may realize. Dr. Bruce Spink, a dentist in Birmingham, AL, highlights some foods you should try to avoid.
1. Hard Candy
You may know that sticky, chewy candy is one of the worst things for your smile. But that doesn’t mean that hard candy is the safer option. Hard candy releases sugars into your mouth the entire time that it’s dissolving. Harmful oral bacteria feed on the sugars and release an acidic byproduct. This is a primary cause of tooth decay.
Biting down on hard candy at the wrong angle or before it’s dissolved enough can also cause a dental emergency. If you’re lucky, it’ll only be a cosmetic chip or crack. This can be treated with something like porcelain veneers. For further problems, a dental crown may be warranted to avoid the loss of the tooth.
Foods that are rich in sugars aren’t good for your teeth. But neither are foods that are very high in acids. Tomatoes have many health benefits, but their acidic content isn’t good for your gums. Too much acid wears both decays the teeth and wears away the gums. This allows more opportunity for buildup around the gum line, leading to gum disease.
3. Sports Drinks
You may look to these as a substitute for drinks like soda or energy drinks. However, take a look at the nutrition label the next time you go to pick one up. You’ll notice that they have a sugar content that’s on par or higher than the soda you were about to pick up. Many sports drinks use citric acid for flavoring. The high sugar and acid combination is a nightmare for your teeth.
Water in its liquid form is one of the best things for both your oral and overall health. But you should avoid it when it’s in solid form. A habit of chewing on ice increases the rate of wear and tear on your teeth. They also have the same issue that hard candy does. If you bite down on ice at the wrong time, you risk a more serious problem with your teeth.
5. Chips and Crackers
With all the concern around sugary snacks, you may think that the salty ones are safer. But chips and crackers are both made up of starches, which break down into sugars as they’re chewed and broken down. Chips tend to get broken up and stuck in between your teeth, while crackers mix with saliva that forms a paste that coats the crevices of your molars.
Preventative Care at Your Birmingham, Alabama Dentist
Make sure you see your dentist regularly and ensure your diet isn’t wreaking havoc on your teeth. Call us or schedule an appointment online.