Your diet can play a bigger part in your oral health than you realize. Even if you think you’re doing everything right, like brushing and flossing regularly, a poor diet can still cause problems with your teeth. Dr. Caleb A. Robinson, a dentist in New Philadelphia, OH, discusses some foods you should limit in your diet to benefit your oral health.
1. Hard Candy
As kids, we get taught that chewy candy is bad for our teeth. But hard candy isn’t a good substitute. While it may not get stuck in your teeth, hard candy releases sugar into your mouth the entire time it dissolves. Harmful oral bacteria feed off this sugar and emit acidic byproducts. This is what eats through your tooth enamel and causes tooth decay and the need for dental fillings.
Hard candy can bring harm to your teeth in another way, as well. If the candy hasn’t dissolved enough or you bite down at the wrong angle, it can chip or crack your tooth. This could mean anything from cosmetic damage to a dental emergency that’s going to require restorative dentistry techniques to fix. You don’t want to push your luck.
2. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are often chosen as a healthier alternative to things like energy drinks and soda. However, these drinks usually contain as much sugar — or sometimes even more — than what you’re trying to use them to replace. Many sports drinks are also flavored with citric acid, which wears away the enamel on your teeth. Stick to just drinking water when you’re working out.
3. Dried Fruit
Fruit is often lauded as a good way to satisfy your sweet tooth. But you should stick to the fresh kind. Dried fruit often loses nutrients during the drying process and is more concentrated with sugar. It also ends up being a similar consistency to chewy candy, which you want to avoid. On the other hand, fresh fruit can actually help get harmful food particles away from your teeth.
4. Coffee and Tea
On their own, coffee and tea aren’t the worst for you. Coffee is acidic, though, and both can stain your teeth over time. The biggest problem, though, is the way most of us take our coffee and tea. They’re filled with sugar and flavored syrups that are also mainly just sugar. Try to drink these sparingly, and as plain as you can tolerate.
5. Chips and Crackers
The nutrition facts of these foods may not contain a lot of sugars on the label. But they’re both starches, which means they quickly break down into sugars as they’re chewed and digested. Chips are notorious for getting stuck between teeth, and crackers turn into a paste that settles into the crevices on your molars. If you’re going to have a crunchy snack, drink plenty of water during and after.
Your Dentist in New Philadelphia, Ohio
Make sure you’re going to your dentist regularly to ensure your diet isn’t ruining your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online.