25
February
2014

Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth

Know which foods can damage your teeth

When we go to the dentist, they typically only mention to brush your teeth twice a day and floss, but what they don’t tell you is that there are many foods that affect the wear and tear of our teeth. Many people do not realize the impact certain foods can have on the health of their teeth.

The bacteria in our mouth thrive on sugar, and the byproduct of eating these sugars is an acid. This acid contributes to the breakdown of tooth enamel leading to cavities and other tooth damage. When we consume sugary and sticky foods, they tend to stay longer on our teeth, giving the bacteria more time to break it down and produce more damaging acid. Sweets that may stick to teeth for longer, such as caramels or taffy, or that are sucked on for longer periods of time, lollipops and hard candies, are especially damaging. Another type of food that we normally deem as healthy, are dried fruits. Raisins, dried cranberries, prunes, or apricots are more sugary than the natural fruit, and are similar to caramels, as they tend to stick tightly to teeth. Also, foods that are naturally more acidic add a multiplying affect to the already present bacterial acid. Foods containing large amounts of citric acid, such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, are particularly damaging because they are extremely acidic and can quickly breakdown tooth enamel leading to cavities.

The biggest culprits leading to tooth decay are carbonated beverages, mainly soda. These bubbly drinks contain many different acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Even diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that have the same damaging affect as non-diet sodas. Many sports drinks, that do provide some health benefit such as replacing lost electrolytes, contain acids and sugars that have the same affect on teeth as soda. Even vitamin waters can contain up to as much sugar as a candy bar. While many people drink vitamin water or take a multivitamin daily, what you don’t know is the negative affect chewable vitamins may have on your teeth. While vitamin C is an important vitamin, the chewable form can leave deposits of citric acid on your teeth, furthering the decay.

Many people believe only sugary foods can lead to tooth decay, but many salty and starchy foods can have equally as damaging affects. Foods such as white bread, potato chips, crackers, french fries, and pastas can easily become lodged in the teeth. Once these foods start to breakdown, they turn into sugars, which the bacteria in our mouth love to feed on. Another type of food that can erode your teeth are pickled foods, because the vinegar used in the pickling process is extremely acidic.

A good rule of thumb to remember is anything that can stain a white tablecloth will also stain your teeth, and that includes red wine. Red wine contains chromogens, which are the teeth-discoloring pigment, and tannins, which dry out your mouth and make your teeth sticky, worsening stains. Even though white wine doesn’t contain the same components as red, it still contains erosive acids. Coffee is also similar as it dries out the mouth, making it stickier and attracting more sugars and bacteria.

While some of these drinks and foods are just too delicious to avoid, it’s important to understand the long-term affects they can have on your teeth’s integrity. It’s a good habit to brush your teeth or use mouthwash after eating or drinking. This will prevent the sugars from remaining in the mouth for too long and causing irreversible damage.

Categories: Food and Health

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Nutrition Facts

25
February
2014

Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth

Know which foods can damage your teeth

When we go to the dentist, they typically only mention to brush your teeth twice a day and floss, but what they don’t tell you is that there are many foods that affect the wear and tear of our teeth. Many people do not realize the impact certain foods can have on the health of their teeth.

The bacteria in our mouth thrive on sugar, and the byproduct of eating these sugars is an acid. This acid contributes to the breakdown of tooth enamel leading to cavities and other tooth damage. When we consume sugary and sticky foods, they tend to stay longer on our teeth, giving the bacteria more time to break it down and produce more damaging acid. Sweets that may stick to teeth for longer, such as caramels or taffy, or that are sucked on for longer periods of time, lollipops and hard candies, are especially damaging. Another type of food that we normally deem as healthy, are dried fruits. Raisins, dried cranberries, prunes, or apricots are more sugary than the natural fruit, and are similar to caramels, as they tend to stick tightly to teeth. Also, foods that are naturally more acidic add a multiplying affect to the already present bacterial acid. Foods containing large amounts of citric acid, such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, are particularly damaging because they are extremely acidic and can quickly breakdown tooth enamel leading to cavities.

The biggest culprits leading to tooth decay are carbonated beverages, mainly soda. These bubbly drinks contain many different acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Even diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that have the same damaging affect as non-diet sodas. Many sports drinks, that do provide some health benefit such as replacing lost electrolytes, contain acids and sugars that have the same affect on teeth as soda. Even vitamin waters can contain up to as much sugar as a candy bar. While many people drink vitamin water or take a multivitamin daily, what you don’t know is the negative affect chewable vitamins may have on your teeth. While vitamin C is an important vitamin, the chewable form can leave deposits of citric acid on your teeth, furthering the decay.

Many people believe only sugary foods can lead to tooth decay, but many salty and starchy foods can have equally as damaging affects. Foods such as white bread, potato chips, crackers, french fries, and pastas can easily become lodged in the teeth. Once these foods start to breakdown, they turn into sugars, which the bacteria in our mouth love to feed on. Another type of food that can erode your teeth are pickled foods, because the vinegar used in the pickling process is extremely acidic.

A good rule of thumb to remember is anything that can stain a white tablecloth will also stain your teeth, and that includes red wine. Red wine contains chromogens, which are the teeth-discoloring pigment, and tannins, which dry out your mouth and make your teeth sticky, worsening stains. Even though white wine doesn’t contain the same components as red, it still contains erosive acids. Coffee is also similar as it dries out the mouth, making it stickier and attracting more sugars and bacteria.

While some of these drinks and foods are just too delicious to avoid, it’s important to understand the long-term affects they can have on your teeth’s integrity. It’s a good habit to brush your teeth or use mouthwash after eating or drinking. This will prevent the sugars from remaining in the mouth for too long and causing irreversible damage.

Categories: Food and Health

0.0/5 rating (0 votes)

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