Teeth are essential for eating and enjoying most foods. They allow us to bite down and break apart new pieces of food.
Even a single chip, crack, or cavity can make a big difference in how we enjoy our favorite foods, and of course, how we smile.
Keep your teeth strong and healthy by avoiding damage-causing foods whenever possible.
Sugary Foods and Drinks
Eating and drinking sugary foods and beverages is one of the most dangerous things we can do to our teeth.
The sugars in these foods and drinks feed the bacteria in our mouths, which quickly break down the sugars. This process releases acids that harm our teeth and damage enamel. The acids and bacteria that build up can contribute to cavities and tooth decay.
Candy, cookies, pastries, cakes, donuts, ice cream, and other sweet treats contain lots of sugar. They also tend to be high in calories and low in nutrition, so they don’t do much to keep your body healthy, either.
White bread and processed starches, like chips, crackers, and other high-carbohydrate snacks, also contain lots of digestible sugars and so can damage your teeth.
Sticky and Crunchy Foods
When you eat something that’s excessively sticky, like taffy, caramels, or gummies can be harder to brush off and might even pull out a filling. The longer the sugar stays stuck on your teeth, the more damage it’ll cause to your enamel.
Crunchy foods like pretzels, chips, and hard candies can damage your teeth, too. Biting down on these crunchy snacks can end up cracking or chipping a tooth.
Alcohol and Acidic Drinks
Alcohol creates many vulnerabilities to tooth damage and mouth diseases. It can negatively impact the lining of the mouth and damage your gums. It also tends to dry out your mouth, stimulating the production of bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to a host of oral health issues, including cavities and even cancer.
Alcohol may also lead to increased cravings for unhealthy foods, and excessive use can lead to diminished dental hygiene and less professional care.
Acidic drinks like fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and soda can also be very damaging to your teeth. The acidity of these beverages can wear away tooth enamel, sometimes very quickly.
Healthy Dental Habits
In addition to limiting your exposure to damage-causing foods and drinks, daily care can make all the difference in the health of your mouth and teeth.
Brushing and flossing at least twice per day can help prevent disease-causing bacteria from building up and causing damage to your teeth.
Visiting your dentist for check-ups and cleanings at least twice per year can help remove plaque and tartar that your toothbrush misses.
If you haven’t been to a dentist recently, or if your last visit was over six months ago, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.