You brush, you floss, you come in for regular check ups with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos…what more can you do to protect your teeth? Good oral health doesn’t just happen in the dentist office or in your bathroom…it also happens in your kitchen and at your breakfast table. Your body is a complex machine and your diet has a big impact on your oral health. In other words, what you eat matters! At FDA, we provide dental care that goes beyond your smile and takes the health of your whole body into account. We’ve talked about foods that can boost your oral health, like apples and yogurt, but what are some foods you should steer clear of in the name of protecting your pearly whites? Here are five foods to avoid:
It should come as no surprise that candy can cause cavities. Gummies and sticky taffy are some of the worst offenders! However, there is a sticky food people often associate with healthy snacking – dried fruit. Many dried fruits are quite sticky and can get stuck in the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Dried fruit also tends to be high in sugar, which can lead to cavities.
Nothing beats an ice-cold drink on a hot day! However, if you find yourself regularly crunching on the ice chunks in your refreshing beverage, you may be setting yourself up for a cracked tooth! Do your teeth a favor – and avoid an emergency visit with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos – and break the habit! For added protection, use a stainless steel or compostable straw to sip icy drinks.
Too Much Citrus
Citrus fruits are highly acidic and frequent exposure to acidic foods can erode your enamel. The acidity can also cause sensitivity in your teeth and gums. While consuming vitamin C is an important part of a healthy, holistic oral care routine, make sure you don’t go overboard. Using a straw while you sip your OJ can help limit exposure to your enamel and a simple fresh water rinse after drinking fruit juice or eating citrus can help protect your teeth.
Soda is bad for your health and bad for your teeth. Those sugary drinks are food for plaque bacteria, which turns the sugar into acid that can damage your enamel. Caffeine in soda can also dry out your mouth, which creates an environment where cavity-causing bacteria can thrive. If you can’t give up your soda fix, make sure you drink plenty of water as well.
Many people only worry about sweet treats when it comes to their oral health, but starchy snacks can be just as damaging. Snacks like potato chips are starchy and get stuck in the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Starches are complex carbohydrates with long chains of sugar molecules. When left behind, your saliva turns that starch into sugar that feeds bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. After indulging in your favorite crunchy, starchy snacks, make sure you rinse with water, spend extra care brushing and flossing to remove any leftover food particles.
If you have questions about how your diet is impacting your oral health or need to schedule your next appointment with us, please give us a call at 207.781.5900. We are your partner in oral health and here to help!