When it comes to your oral health, what you put in your mouth is just as important as how often you brush and floss. Many foods, especially the ones we love the most, can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Some foods can weaken enamel, cause cavities, and cause bad breath. Listed below are some of the worst foods for your oral health.
Sticky candy and dried fruit are some of the worst foods for oral health because they cling to your teeth, which increases the risk of decay. These sticky foods also get stuck in between teeth, which can lead to cavities over time. Additionally, these sugary treats feed oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. Try to avoid or limit your consumption of these types of food to protect your smile.
Usually, the less sticky the food, the better it is for your oral health. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables that are not only healthy but clean your teeth as you eat them. By pairing nutritious foods with your routine of regular brushings and flossing, you can reduce your risk of many oral health issues!
Eating sugary foods and drinking sugary drinks on a regular basis can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid that wears away tooth enamel, which can eventually lead to cavities and root canals. If you must have something sweet, you can reduce the negative impact on your oral health by rinsing your mouth with water afterward. You can also chew sugar-free gum afterward to help remove some of the sugar from your teeth.
Additionally, if you have a dry mouth, it’s a good idea to avoid eating or drinking any beverages containing sugars since this will cause you to have a higher risk of tooth decay. Also, it’s important to realize that added sugar isn’t just found in desserts and sweets. Many condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, and even salad dressings contain high amounts of sugar as well. Reducing the amount of sugar consumed every day can help protect your smile. If you are struggling to kick your sweet tooth to the curb, try replacing the foods you’re used to eating with something healthier instead. For example, eat fruit instead of candy for a sweet treat, or try sliced vegetables with hummus for a crunchy snack.
Anything too acidic can erode your enamel, so you’ll want to limit these as much as possible. Some common culprits include citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, wines, beer, yogurt with fruit on the bottom or granola mixed in, flavored teas, tomato sauces, and even pickles! If you do eat or drink these things, try to swish water around your mouth afterward to wash the excess acid away, and try to wait at least half an hour to brush, so you don’t damage your enamel even more.
The hard texture of foods like ice, chips, and popcorn can cause damage to your teeth. Chips and crunchy foods can also cause damage to your braces. Brushing your teeth regularly after eating these foods can reduce damage.
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