Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth when food particles are not removed through brushing and flossing. Bacteria clings to this plaque and feeds on sugars, which can break down enamel and cause cavities and gum disease. Not all sweet treats are created equal when it comes to tooth decay. Here are five bad foods for teeth you should avoid.
1. White Starchy Foods
That squishy white bread might be tasty, but its softness can cause it to get stuck between your teeth. Pasta and snacks like potato chips and pretzels can do the same. Though they may not be sweet, their starches turn to sugar that leads to decay. Try consuming multigrain bread and multi-seed crackers instead of chips.
2. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a great source of fiber, but they are also loaded with sugars, both natural and added. Dried pineapple, papaya, and dates are also very sticky. They will cling to your teeth that can lead to plaque. Make sure you brush and floss immediately after eating dried fruit.
3. Sour Candy
Sugary gum and hard candies are awful for your teeth, because they remain in your mouth longer, keeping a constant source of bacteria-feeding sugar on your teeth and gums. Sour candy is even worse. They often have a higher acidity to give them that sour flavor. Always choose a sugar-free alternative for gum and candies.
4. Carbonated Drinks
Though they’re great for reenergizing your body, sodas are bad for your teeth. A can of cola has an average of 39 grams of sugar, and an orange soda can have as much as 44 grams of sugar. The carbonation erodes tooth enamel. These drinks can also dry up saliva, which you need to naturally purge bacteria from your mouth. If you absolutely must have your soda fix, you can lessen the likelihood of damage by drinking it through a straw.
Don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda. Rather, rinse your mouth with water to reduce erosion and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Because the acid can soften the outer layer of your teeth, brushing can do additional damage. So be sure to wait it out.
Citrus carries vitamin C that’s essential for staying healthy. But it can be bad food for teeth if you brush right after consuming fruits that are high in citrus. The citric acid of oranges, lemons, limes, and other fruits can wear down enamel. As with sodas, you want to wait about 30 minutes before you brush.
Other Tips for Teeth
It’s very important to stay hydrated. Dehydration can result in less saliva and reduce your mouth’s ability to naturally clear away bacteria. Avoid alcoholic drinks, which can cause dehydration. Also, do not chew ice. Yes, it’s just water, but you run the risk of chipping or breaking teeth.
Contact South Temple Dental
Avoiding these five bad foods for teeth can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy between dental visits. If you’re ready for a cleaning and examination, contact our dental clinic in Salt Lake City today to set up an appointment.