October means Halloween and Halloween means candy. Candy means tooth decay, right? It’s true that sugar is the biggest threat to your oral health but there are a lot of foods that do dangerous things to your smile that you might not know about!
At Fairhope Cosmetic Dentistry we are big believers is tackling oral health head on before the damage happens. To us that means regular cleanings and exams, preventive treatments, and also knowing what’s going into your mouth! Today we’re going to cover some of the most dangerous foods for your teeth – it’s important to be prepared!
Tooth-Tamperer #1: Sports Drinks
How can they possibly be worse than soda, right? A bottle of your favorite thirst quencher actually contains more sugar and is still acidic! When you drink or eat something sugary the bacteria in your plaque feasts on it and releases acids that attack your enamel, causing tooth decay and cavities!
You’re usually a bit dehydrated when you drink a sports drink too, and this can add to the damage due to a lack of mouth-cleansing saliva. Studies also found proof of the damage caused by sports drinks – tests on teeth soaked in Gatorade, Coke, diet soda, and Red Bull found that the Gatorade did far more damage!
Tooth-Tamperer #2: Sticky Foods
Remember the acid attacks we mentioned above? They last around a half an hour and start up whenever your plaque bacteria get some sugar. Sticky foods that hang around your teeth start an acid attack the second they get there and keep it going until they’re cleaned out!
Say you’re snacking on some chocolate and a bit gets lodged on the surface of a tooth or between your gums and teeth. How long does it stay there? Ten minutes? Twenty? Add that time plus a half an hour to get the duration of the acid attack it causes. The longer it hangs around the worse it gets!
Tooth-Tamperer #3: Starchy Snacks
Chips, crackers, pretzels, bread – delicious, right? Unfortunately your plaque bacteria think so too! All your favorite starchy snacks contain sugar in the form of glucose. It’s not as bad for your body as the stuff found in soda and candy, called fructose, but it’s still harmful to your teeth!
If you’re having friends over for a movie night or to watch the big game make sure you aren’t overindulging! Just like sweet sticky foods the salty, starchy ones create an acid attack that can be prolonged if food particles are stuck in your teeth! And if you’re washing them down with soda you’re just doubling up the damage!
Tooth-Tamperer #4: Citrus
It’s a bummer to think that oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and their pals are doing damage at the same time they’re delivering beneficial nutrients but it’s true. Citrus fruit is just loaded with acids and eating them is basically like skipping the sugar and going straight to the acid attack! Wash them down with water!
If you’re going to eat citrus at least try to avoid their beverage forms. Orange juice, lemonade, and other drinks have all the acids plus a lot of additional sugar. They also don’t contain the fiber that raw citrus does. Fiber stimulates saliva production and helps counteract acid – without it you’re just beating up on your teeth’s enamel!
Tooth-Tamperer #5: Alcohol
Alcohol isn’t just an appetite stimulant that encourages you to snack on tooth-destroying treats. Many varieties also contain a lot of sugar – even beer! Alcohol in excess can also cause acid reflux and vomiting, both of which are incredibly hard on your teeth!
Limit alcohol consumption but also make sure you drink water throughout the night to prevent dehydration and acid damage – your head and your teeth will thank you!
Make The Right Choices For Your Oral Health!
You don’t have to eliminate these snacks but you should always moderate your intake! In our next blog we’re going to discuss some foods that can help protect your smile – don’t miss it!
If you’re concerned about your oral health, dietary habits, or have any questions about caring for your teeth don’t hesitate to call us! You can reach Fairhope Cosmetic Dentistry by calling us at (251) 210-7142 or you can request an appointment today by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!