The negative effects of sugary foods and drinks goes without saying. But there are certain beverages and foods that may seem harmless, or even healthy, but in reality they can start negative processes in the mouth. Here are some of the most common enemies of healthy teeth.
With the arrival of the cold season, we start consuming more and more citrus fruits. Besides being delicious, orange, lemon, and grapefruit are excellent sources of Vitamin-C. However, we should pay attention not to consume too much of these fruits. The high amount of citric acid found in them can easily damage the outer layer of the teeth, revealing the more fragile and sensitive dentin. This can easily lead to decays and increased sensitivity, on otherwise healthy teeth. Pro tip: Never brush your teeth immediately after consuming any of these fruits. Rinsing with “neutral” drinks (e.g. water), or eating foods rich in fat (cheese or nuts) helps getting rid of the acids in the mouth. Wait at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.
According to official statics we consume a lot less bread than in the last few years, but it still counts as a basic grocery item. If we cannot resist eating bread it will not only effect our belly size, but also the health of our teeth. While we are chewing bread, our saliva dissolves the starch found in the wheat flour, into sugar. Additionally, soft breadcrumbs can get stuck between the teeth, and increase the chance of plaque appearing in the area.
Even though sugar-free sodas are a suitable alternative, we would still recommend not to over-consume these beverages. Carbonic acid can not only damage the enamel, but also the root part of the teeth. No matter how tempting a glass of zero coke is, do yourself a favor and choose to drink water instead.
Popcorn, potato chips
Potato chips, crackers, and their kinds also has starch in them, which dissolves into sugar during consumption. To make things worse, we tend to eat these as slowly as possible (e.g while watching a movie), which means we give more time for the food to get stuck on our teeth. Popcorn may not be as harmful to our calories intake as crackers, but its still a threat to our teeth. The shell can easily get stuck between our teeth, or in extreme cases cut the gum. Also, biting down on a un-popped popcorn pieces may crack the tooth surface.
These are also seasonal favorites for many. Despite their high sugar values, they can be fitted into almost any diet. However, they are like candy for our teeth. Dried fruits can stuck on any surface, including our teeth, and they are fairly hard to remove even with a toothbrush. We recommend rinsing and flossing after eating these delicious treats.
Saliva is responsible for stabilizing the pH-level of the mouth. Because of this, consuming foods/drinks that cause dryness of the mouth is to be avoided. Alcohol and coffee are the two main reasons for mouth dryness, therefore it is recommended to drink a glass of water after consuming these drinks.