Your diet plays a big part in your oral health. Even though you may brush and floss regularly, foods still pose a risk. Dr. Justin Deckard of DC Precision Dentistry, a dentist in Washington DC, discusses foods you should try to steer clear of to help your oral health.
1. Hard Candy
You probably already know that chewy candy gets stuck in your teeth. But hard candy isn’t a good replacement option. While it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, it constantly releases sugar in your mouth as it dissolves. Harmful oral bacteria feed off of this sugar and emit an acidic byproduct in your mouth. This causes your tooth enamel to dissolve, leading to cavities.
Hard candy can also send you to the office for emergency dentistry. If you don’t let the candy dissolve enough or bite down at the wrong angle, it can cause damage to your teeth. Severe breaks or cracks need to be taken care of as soon as possible, making sure you can use your tooth again and prevent infection.
2. Dried Fruit
Fruit is usually a good substitute to tame your sweet tooth. However, you should stick to the fresh kind. Dried fruit usually ends up having the same chewy consistency as chewy candy. It also loses some of its nutritional value and becomes more concentrated with sugar throughout the drying process. This makes it not much better for you or your teeth than chewy candy.
Water is one of the best things for your teeth and oral health when it’s in its liquid form. It helps to rinse food and bacteria away from your teeth. Having a habit of chewing ice, though, increases how quickly your teeth take on wear and tear. Ice can also have the same problems as hard candy. If you bite down at the wrong angle, you’re at risk for chipping or breaking a tooth.
4. Sports Drinks
Many people think sports drinks are necessary for workouts or are healthier than options like soda and energy drinks. If you look at the labels, though, you may notice that sports drinks can contain just as much — if not more — sugar than these other drinks. Sports drinks are also often flavored with citric acid, which increases how fast the enamel erodes on your teeth. Sugar and acid are a nightmare combination for teeth.
5. Chips and Crackers
You may not think of sugars when you think of these salty snacks. But they’re starches, which means they break down into sugars as they’re chewed and digested. Chip particles tend to get stuck between teeth, while crackers turn into a kind of paste that coats the crevices of your teeth. If you’re going to snack on these, try to rinse particles out of your mouth afterward.
Your Dentist in Washington DC
If you’re keeping up with regular dental visits, your dentist can help catch indications that your diet is harming your oral health. Call us or schedule an appointment online.