All foods are not equal when it comes to your oral health. In fact, there are multiple ways in which certain foods and drinks can damage your teeth. These include stains, mechanical damage, promoting tooth decay, and damage from acid. You’ll find a list of some of the worst culprits below along with ways to limit or avoid the harm they can cause to your teeth.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cold glass of water or other drink. You see, it’s not the temperature that allows ice to damage your teeth; it’s the chewing and crunching. Ice is too hard to safely chew and doing so can damage dental work and even crack your teeth. So add as much ice to your beverages as you like. Just refrain from chewing the ice.
2. Hard Candy
Hard candy can hit your teeth with a double whammy. First, there’s the crunching problem. As with ice, chewing hard candies may inflict mechanical damage on your teeth.
Even if you avoid biting down on the candies, there’s the issue of sugar. Allowing a hard candy to dissolve in your mouth exposes your teeth to plenty of sugar. While sugar itself doesn’t directly cause tooth decay, it does feed the harmful bacteria present in your mouth. This can lead to cavities and gum disease. Try to avoid hard candies and mints for the sake of your oral health.
3. Sticky Candy
Toffee, caramel, chocolate, and gum are also bad for your teeth. These treats can linger for hours after consumption, sticking in the nooks and crannies of your mouth. If you’re going to partake of these confections, be sure to rinse, brush, and floss immediately afterwards.
Soda is one of the worst beverages for your teeth due to the acidity and sugar. These substances combine to both wear away your teeth and promote decay. Even diet, sugar-free sodas contain the acidic components. Sure, a rare soda probably isn’t going to hurt much, but don’t be someone who drinks soda all day.
Saliva is a naturally rinse for your mouth, washing away food particles and hurtful bacteria. However, people who are heavy or constant drinkers often suffer from xerostomia – dry mouth. Too little saliva can allow undesirable bacteria to flourish and lead to tooth decay. Be sure to limit your drinking, and when you do indulge, drink plenty of water as well.
Also note that wine, particularly red wine, can additionally stain your teeth. Try to avoid drinking it too often, and ask your dentist about whitening options if you’re concerned about tooth stains.
6. Fruit Juices
Fruit juices may seem to be a healthy choice as they can provide necessary nutrients like vitamin C. The problem is they’re loaded with sugar. Citrus fruit juices, such as orange juice, are particularly troublesome as they are also quite acidic. A single glass of juice with breakfast is no big deal – just be certain to rinse and brush afterwards.