The biggest threats to a perfect, sparkly smile are all the sweets and drinks which taste delicious, as we enjoy them so much and eventually pay for the indulgence. We are always eating foods bad for your teeth, but we can’t help but eat those yummy candies brought into the office.
So what foods will rot your teeth and give you endless amounts of cavities? We will help you get through the world of sweets and other foods to avoid for proper dental care, so your teeth don’t have to get as dark as the soda you are about to indulge.
Why Sweets Are a Bad Thing for Teeth?
Essentially, consuming sugar causes your mouth to become acidic by feeding plaque-forming bacteria which consume the sugars and turn them into acids that are harsh enough to dissolve the enamel of your teeth. That’s why sugar in an unbrushed mouth is the perfect recipe for a cavity.
Before you pick up that back of chips or Chewy bar, ask yourself if you know what is in the food you’ve chosen. How much sugar is in it? Keep in mind, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that the maximum amount of sugars you should be consuming is between nine teaspoons (for men) and six teaspoons (for women).
Another precaution to keep in mind is that certain kinds of sweets damage your teeth more than others. If your snack is gooey or chewy, it’s going to spend more time stuck to the surfaces of your molars, essentially guaranteeing that your teeth will be basking in an acid-sugar bath. Every time you or your child has a sugar snack, acids will form in your mouth and affect your teeth for at least 20 minutes before they get neutralized by your body’s chemistry.
6 Common Foods Bad for Your Teeth
There is a misconception about how certain foods affect your teeth. Many foods are known to the society as “good for your teeth.” But, the truth is not all foods benefit your oral health. These foods harmful for your teeth should not be in your radar if you want to avoid common mouth pains, like cavities.
Hard candy looks somewhat harmless compared to other sweets. But, the fact is that they are very harmful. First, the constant exposure to sugar can cause tooth decay. Secondly, they can be the reason for dental emergencies such as a broken or chipped tooth. We recommend replacing the craving for hard candies with sugar-free gums that have the ADA seal.
Many people think that chewing ice is harmless because it is frozen water and it doesn’t include any sugars or acids in the ingredients. Chewing on hard substances such as ice may damage your enamel and may increase the possibility of dental emergencies. We love seeing you at our Bellevue dentist office but not if that means you have a dental emergency!
We are raised to believe all fruits are good for us and there is no limit on how much we should eat them. Even though consumption of fruits might be healthy for the body, that might not be the case for your mouth. Constant exposure to citrus can weaken tooth enamel, leaving it sensitive and vulnerable to tooth decay.
Unfortunately, dried fruits usually have added sugars, which make them more like candies. But, even if they didn’t have sugar, the stickiness of them is the worst part. These snacks stick to your teeth and can be a significant factor for tooth decay.
Everybody loves potato chips. It’s known to many people that potato chips are bad for health, but very few know that it’s bad for your teeth as well. The starch from potato chips gets stuck in between teeth and can lead to plaque buildup.
Even though sports drinks can help you hydrate, sugar is one of the ingredients, your mouth’s worst enemy. Try to use hydrating packets that can add electrolytes to your drinking water without any sugar.
The Effects of Your Morning Joe on Your Teeth
What would we do without our coffee in the first seconds of walking into work? The day seems to go in the right direction when you have your coffee. But could it be affecting your dental health?
Facts about Soda and Your Teeth
Did you know dark soda can remove the shell of an egg? Now imagine its effect on your teeth. We all know cavities are caused with sweets and these refreshing drinks and are the main foods bad for your teeth.
3 Sweetener Substitutes for Your Teeth Health
Your sweet tooth could be wreaking havoc on the rest of your pearly whites. Studies show that bacteria in the mouth attack sugar like white on rice, breaking it down into acids. The new acidic zombie sugar created by this breakdown attacks your enamel, and before you know it, there are cavities afoot! Before you say hold the sugar, consider some alternative sugar substitutes for teeth health.
Are you staring at the bottle of stevia on your kitchen counter wondering does stevia cause teeth decay? Rest assured it does not. Stevia and other alternative sweeteners don’t have the same chemical makeup that sugar does. While any sort of sweetener should be consumed in moderation for other health reasons, a sugar zombie attack is not one of them.
Stevia is a safe sugar substitute for teeth and cholesterol health. In addition to adding some sweetness to your life, stevia helps fight plaque and lower cholesterol levels. This means you don’t have to feel guilty about adding a hearty helping of stevia to your morning oatmeal.
While we’ve already answered do artificial sweeteners cause tooth decay with a hard no, we haven’t added many to the list. Artificial sweeteners might be safe for teeth, but in excess, they can cause a myriad of other problems including diarrhea. Honey sweetens things up without adding extra bathroom trips to your day.
It’s still a good idea to rinse the mouth out with water after consuming honey. It breaks down slower than sugar, so no need to rush to the bathroom after lunch, but if left too long it can contribute to tooth decay.
Since alternative sweeteners hit the market, there has been a debate whether or not are sweeteners bad for your health. For those looking for sugar substitutes for teeth health and controversy-free, opt to go all natural.
Fruit is a delicious, sweet alternative for any snack or meal. Try to avoid fruits high in acid and dried fruits, though. A well-balanced diet aiming to cut out sugar should always consist of healthy portions of fruits and vegetables.
How to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth without Harsh Sweets
Especially for those with young children who love to consume cakes, cookies, candies and other sugary foods that can cause tooth decay, it can be difficult know exactly how much sugar your child is consuming. Sugar also comes in dozens of forms from sucrose and fructose to dextrose and others.
Snack smart and sparingly throughout the day to protect your teeth
The next time you’re in the snack aisle at your grocery store, there are things to keep in mind that the right foods can help protect your mouth from tooth decay and other diseases. Low-fat choices like raw vegetables, fresh fruits (sparingly) and whole grains are great options, but they aren’t your only ones!
Try these dentist approved treats the next time you want a snack:
- Fresh fruits (Ex: oranges, grapefruit, melons, pineapple, pears, tangerines)
- Raw vegetables (Ex: broccoli, celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes)
- Grains (Ex: bread, plain bagels or crackers, unsweetened cereals, pasta)
- Cheese & Dairy products (Especially low or nonfat options)
- Pumpkin & Sunflower seeds
- Unbuttered popcorn
- Low Sodium Pretzels
- Baked tortilla chips
- Chicken & Turkey
- Sliced Meats
Skip the Sweets and Visit Your Dentist
Bellevue dental care will receive you with open arms, just like candies do when you need it. Keeping up with your dental appointments help with your teeth staying as tough as they can. Schedule an appointment today!