When you think about a maintaining a good diet, you’re likely to think about how it affects your waistline. But did you know that what you eat also affects your teeth? Certain foods and beverages can stain your teeth and speed up the decay process! These five are the most common culprits.
- Acidic Foods & Beverages
- Sticky, Sugary Foods
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
Acidic foods and drinks, like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, coffee, and alcohol, are very damaging to your teeth because they easily erode your enamel. Thinner enamel means your teeth are more likely to stain and develop cavities. If you enjoy having a glass of orange juice at breakfast or a squeeze of lemon in your water at a restaurant, try to do so in moderation and drink with a straw whenever possible. In addition, be sure to not brush your teeth immediately after consuming foods and drinks that are high in acid to give your softened enamel time to settle and reharden.
Dried fruits and sticky candies like caramels, taffy, and lollipops have an incredibly high concentration of sugar per serving. This tremendous sugar load tends to sit on your teeth and linger because of the food’s sticky texture. When bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars left behind on your teeth, they release damaging acid that wears down your enamel.
High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn and is found in many processed snacks, breads, and candies. Not only does it encourage bacteria production by sticking to your teeth, but it also causes intense blood sugar level spikes. This tricks your body into leeching minerals from your teeth and bones in order to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
You’d never guess that a common burger ingredient could be damaging to your teeth! Just like how citrus erodes your enamel, the vinegar in pickles is particularly damaging to your teeth. In fact, one study in the British Dental Journal found that pickles were associated with the greatest amount of tooth wear in a sample of over 2,000 fourteen year olds in England.
Soda may taste like a refreshing beverage, but should only be enjoyed occasionally, if at all! Not only is it acidic, but its high concentration of sweeteners double the risk of damage to your teeth. Regular soda is loaded with cavity-causing sugar, and diet sodas contain chemicals that can be harmful to your body.
Do You Want Strong, Healthy Teeth?
If you want healthy, strong, white teeth, ditch these five foods and incorporate more dairy, leafy greens, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and water into your diet. Be sure to also brush and floss twice a day and see Dr. Akinwande every six months to prevent gum disease and decay. Our team at Chesterfield Dentistry is happy to assist you with any questions you may have about how diet affects oral health.