Top 5 foods that Can Ruin Your Teeth
Did you know that the average American adult has 2-3 decayed or missing teeth? Good dental care is as important as an adult as it was when Mom and Dad made you visit the dentist twice a year while in elementary school! This month, we’ll cover some foods that are good for your teeth and gums, and some foods to avoid if you want to keep your pearly whites white and your choppers chopping.
Hard candies. Sucking hard candy leaves your teeth in contact with cavity-causing sugars for long periods of time. Chewing hard candies puts you at risk of cracking a tooth. Instead of sticky sweets or hard candies, chew sugarless gum. Even better yet? Choose sugarless gum that carries the ADA seal.
Sweetened coffee drinks. Of course a double caramel frappuccino tastes good. But it’s terrible for your teeth! Caffeine itself isn’t bad for dental health. But the added sugar, sweetened flavor shots and sweetened milk additives are very bad for your teeth. Try adding cinnamon or vanilla extract instead while you wean yourself off the super sweet coffee drinks. Bonus: cutting all those extra calories will do your waistline some good too.
Potato chips. Foods that go crunch often leave behind a sticky, starch-laden bits in between your teeth. Admit it, you can spend 10 to 30 minutes picking those bit out of your teeth using your tongue! Those ‘leftovers’ spell trouble. If you eat starchy, crunchy snacks, floss and brush afterwards. If you can’t floss and brush, rinse vigorously with water.
Soda. Limit your soda intake. It’s good for your overall health and weight, but especially good for your dental health. Prolonged intake of sugary beverages like soda allows bacteria and acids to attack your teeth, leaving them ripe for cavities. Drink water instead. And don’t be fooled into thinking fruit drinks are a good substitute for soda. They often contain too much sugar as well.
Sports drinks. Read the labels on your sports drinks. Too many of them contain sugar as their number 1 ingredient. While the American Academy of Pediatrics says sports drinks can benefit younger athletes involved in prolonged vigorous exercise, most adults don’t work out hard enough to need what sports drinks offer. Drink plain water instead. Rehydrate your body and care for your teeth all at once.
Need or want more advice that’s personalized for you, your lifestyle and your teeth? Browse the rest of our blog, or call for an appointment today. Read stories from some of our current patients to see what we’re like. We’d love to make your comfortable in our chairs!
Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (04/23/2014) terrin (Flickr)