Eating the right foods can benefit your oral health in several ways. While some foods provide strength to the teeth, some foods can cause serious dental problems like tooth decay and cavities. Listed below are some of the worst foods for your oral health.
Sticky foods, such as caramel and taffy, cling to teeth and promote bacterial growth. Hard candies also can cause damage when chewed for long periods of time. In addition, sugary beverages like sodas and sports drinks contain large amounts of fructose or corn syrup, which can increase the risk of tooth decay.
Acidic foods can erode the enamel on your teeth and make them more likely to decay. When you eat these foods, just be sure to drink lots of water to wash away the acid residue from your mouth and avoid letting sugary foods linger in your mouth for too long. If you do enjoy an acidic food like citrus fruit, don’t brush your teeth right away, as one might damage the tooth’s enamel. Instead, just rinse out your mouth with water and wait at least a half hour before brushing.
The sugar and acid in the beverage combine to cause tooth decay when consumed often and in large amounts. Soda is a common culprit, but sports drinks and energy drinks are also major offenders. Cut back on the number of drinks you consume each day and choose water instead.
The stickier and more sugary the candy is, the more likely it will stick to your teeth and cause decay and cavities. Avoid hard candies and try to limit your intake of sticky or gummy candies like caramels, gummies, jelly beans, taffy, and other chewy sweets. These treats put a lot of sugar into your mouth and are more likely to get stuck in between teeth after eating.
Snacking on dried fruit is a lot like snacking on candy and cookies—it’s all sugar and no nutrients. When your teeth are exposed to all that sugar, acids build up in the plaque that clings to your enamel and begins to break down tooth structure. Not good! A better option would be to snack on something with protein and healthy fats, like a hard-boiled egg or a handful of almonds. If you’re craving something sweet, try a piece of fresh fruit or some dark chocolate. They’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without damaging your oral health.
Caramels may not sound too bad, but watch out! They’re sticky and sweet and can stick to your teeth for a long time. If you bite down on caramels or taffy, it can easily break or chip off a tooth. Also, be aware that many store-bought candies contain artificial coloring agents. These dyes can stain the enamel on your teeth. It can also discolor the resin fillings in your teeth.
Hard candies and chewy caramels are among the most common culprits of tooth decay because they’re both sticky, sugary treats that stay in your mouth for a long time. Plus, they’re hard to wash away from your teeth. Although hard candies aren’t as problematic for your teeth as chewy candies are, you should still try to avoid them as much as possible. Candy isn’t going to benefit your oral health – it will only cause more damage.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Monica Neely DDS, call (405) 302-0100 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit our office at 2408 NW 178th St, Edmond, OK 73012. We will guide you further.