Do you know a healthy diet is not only good for your body but also your teeth and gums? Certain foods high in fat and sugar can compromise your oral health, while some can promote a healthy mouth! Here is a list of some foods and beverages that are bad for our oral health.
Sugary foods and drinks
While sugar isn’t necessarily bad for your teeth, it does feed the bacteria in our mouths that produce acid that wears away the enamel on our teeth. When our enamel erodes away, it opens the door to cavities and decay. Plus, when we consume sugary foods and beverages, we tend to sip on them over a longer period of time, increasing the amount of time the sugars have contact with our teeth. We recommend steering clear of these types of foods when possible to avoid harming your oral health. Instead, try to drink more water and eat more crunchy fruits and vegetables like celery, carrots, apples, pears, and cauliflower. These foods will clean your smile as you eat them!
Pasta, bread, and crackers have a high starch content that can cause cavities if not properly cleaned off your teeth after consumption. When you eat starchy foods, the sugar in the food is broken down into simple sugars that bacteria in your mouth feed on and produce acid as a byproduct. The acid softens the enamel of your teeth, resulting in tooth decay. If you must consume these foods, be sure to rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating or drinking them and brush your teeth as soon as possible afterward. Additionally, consider snacking on some cheese or vegetables instead. Cheese has calcium for strong teeth and vegetables have vitamins and minerals that promote good oral health.
These drinks contain a lot of acids and added sugar, both of which can be very harmful to your teeth. The acid can erode the enamel on your teeth, and the sugar in the drink can lead to tooth decay. The sugar may also cause plaque buildup that leads to gum disease. It is best to avoid these drinks if possible. If you do drink them, rinse your mouth with water as soon as you can afterward. This way, you can wash away the sugar and acid that can damage your teeth.
The consumption of alcoholic beverages can negatively affect your oral health in a couple of different ways. First, there is the direct effect of the alcohol itself on your mouth. Alcohol dries out the mouth and inhibits saliva production. Saliva helps to neutralize harmful acids in your mouth and rinse away food particles. When there is less saliva present, this allows for an increase of harmful bacteria and the erosion of tooth enamel. Secondly, the carcinogens found in alcoholic drinks also increase your risk of oral cancer. If you do consume alcohol, be sure to rinse with water following each alcoholic beverage. This will help to flush out excess sugars and acid from your teeth. You should also try to limit your alcohol consumption if possible. You can also help prevent dry mouth symptoms by staying hydrated during the day.
Carbonated beverages, including soda and citrus drinks, are among the worst foods for oral health. Unfortunately, these carbonated drinks are a big part of the American diet. Sugary sodas also contain acids that can wear down your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to decay. If you are drinking soda frequently, you might also be consuming excess calories or suffering from acid reflux and stomach irritation. All of which can have an impact on your oral health.
Citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruit are bad for your teeth. Consuming too much citrus fruit can lead to enamel erosion, which can leave teeth vulnerable to sensitivity and decay. If you do enjoy eating citrus fruits on occasion, consider incorporating other foods into your diet that can counteract the acid and help to rebalance the natural pH of your mouth.
To learn more, please schedule an appointment online or call us at (480) 838-8558 and have a consultation with Dr. Christopher Payne. We will be happy to help.