Making sure you brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly are all vital aspects of maintaining good oral health. But your diet plays a more significant part in it than you may realize. Dr. Bruce Spink, a dentist in Birmingham, AL, highlights five foods you should try to steer clear of to help your oral health.
1. Hard Candy
You probably already know how bad sticky candy is for your teeth. But hard candy isn’t a suitable alternative. While it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, hard candy releases sugars into your mouth while it’s dissolving. Harmful oral bacteria feed off of this sugar and emit an acidic byproduct. This byproduct is what causes tooth decay and leads to dental cavities.
But that isn’t the only danger from hard candy. It can also lead to an emergency dental appointment. If you bite down at the wrong angle or before the candy has dissolved enough, you might chip or crack a tooth. While a cosmetic chip isn’t something to worry about, a severe break or crack needs to be fixed right away to avoid an infection.
2. Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit is a great, healthy way to ease your sweet tooth. However, dried fruits aren’t as good for you. Dried fruit is more concentrated with sugar and loses some of its nutrients in the drying process. Dried fruit also often has a consistency that’s similar to that of chewy candy. Combine the texture with the added sugar, and dried fruit isn’t much better than chewy candy is for your teeth.
3. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are often seen as a healthier alternative to soda and energy drinks. However, if you read the label closely, you’ll see that they often contain as much (or sometimes even more) sugar as these other beverages. Citric acid is also commonly used to flavor sports drinks. Acid causes your tooth enamel to erode faster, making it easier for bacteria to cause problems.
4. Excessive Amounts of Chips and Crackers
Salty snacks won’t usually show a lot of sugar in the nutrition label. But these snacks include starches that break down into sugars as you chew and digest them. Potato chip pieces tend to get stuck between teeth, while crackers form a kind of paste that gets stuck in the crevices of your rear molars. If you’re going to snack on these, try to rinse your mouth out with water afterward.
Water is one of the best things for your oral health but only when you drink it. Chewing ice is a common habit for many people. However, if you’re chewing it regularly, your teeth will wear down more quickly. It also carries the same problems as hard candy. If you bite down at the wrong angle or before it’s dissolved enough, you may chip or crack a tooth, requiring an emergency dental visit.
Oral Hygiene with Dr. Spink
Keep up your oral hygiene and health with regular visits with Dr. Spink. Call us at (205) 235-5043 or schedule an appointment at Spink Dentistry online today.