Our food and drink choices have a significant impact on our oral health. Some foods and drinks are healthy for your teeth, while others may pose a threat. Here are some foods and drinks that can harm our oral health.
Refined sugars are a major cause of tooth decay. When you eat a lot of sweet foods and drinks, your mouth produces more acid than usual. This acid wears down the enamel on your teeth and causes decay.
Although foods like fruit and milk have natural sugars, they don’t have the harmful effects of refined sweeteners like table sugar and corn syrup. If you must consume sweets, try to brush your teeth shortly after eating them. Common Sweet Food List candy, cookies, cake, doughnuts and other pastries, fruit juice, etc.
When you eat hard candies or suck on a lollipop, the sugar coats your mouth, tongue, and gums. The sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth, which produce acids that break down tooth enamel and cause decay. Additionally, many store-bought hard candies contain artificial coloring agents called chromogens, which are known carcinogens. If you care about your oral health, the best thing you can do is avoid sweets altogether.
Sodas and other soft drinks are dangerous for your teeth because they contain acids that wear away enamel and cause cavities. Even diet sodas can be harmful since they are often highly acidic. Diet and regular colas contain phosphorous, which reacts with the acid in soda to produce an acid that is even more damaging to teeth.
Furthermore, when you sip or swish your soda around in your mouth, it bathes every tooth in an onslaught of sugars. The combination of bacteria with sugar results in plaque formation, which leads to tooth decay.
Coffee and Tea
Sugars in coffee can lead to tooth decay by feeding the bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth. The bacteria use sugar to create harmful acids that can erode tooth enamel leading to cavities and tooth loss.
Some research suggests that the caffeine in coffee and tea may harm tooth enamel. A condition known as “coffee stain” can occur if you regularly sip coffee or black tea throughout the day. This yellow-brown staining occurs when tannins in coffee or tea combine with saliva and coat the teeth. Using a whitening toothpaste can help remove this discoloration.
Limit your consumption of coffee and black tea to one or two cups per day. If you drink more than that, rinse your mouth with water after drinking each cup to help minimize the impact of these drinks on your oral health.
Most wine is acidic and can break down your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay. Red wine and white wine contain similar amounts of acid and sugar. If you drink red wine or white wine, often consider alternating between glasses of red and white wine to minimize your risk of cavities. Consider brushing your teeth a half hour after drinking a glass of wine to prevent tooth decay. This will also help remove stains from your teeth.
Sports drinks aren’t the best for oral health because they don’t contain fluoride as tap water does. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in the body and helps teeth remineralize after they’ve been softened by acids or sugar. Drinking sports beverages instead of water can also promote dry mouth, which can leave your teeth more susceptible to bacteria and decay.
Citrus Fruits and Juices
The acids in the juices of citrus fruits can erode enamel, causing weakened teeth that are more prone to cavities. Prolonged exposure or high acid content can cause tooth sensitivity. It is best to sip orange juice or other citrus beverages through a straw to limit contact between the juice and the teeth and to rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking the juice.
Most fruit juices contain a lot of sugar as well and can contribute to tooth decay. Fruit should be eaten whole when possible to promote better oral health.
The Dental Centre, located in Austin, is equipped with expert dentists and modern amenities. To learn more about good oral care habits, call us at (512) 892-7800 and schedule an appointment with the dentist.