10 Worst Foods and Drinks for Your Teeth
October 19, 2018
Top 10 Worst Foods and Drinks for Your Teeth
Your diet has a huge impact on the health of your teeth and gums. When you eat and drink you’re not only feeding yourself but also the bacteria that can cause tooth decay and mouth disease. It is important to be aware of what you’re consuming and the effects it can have on your health. Some food and drink raise your risk for cavities, erosion, and other dental issues. Here is a list of foods and drinks to avoid in order to keep your mouth healthier and happier.
- Hard, Chewy, and Sour Candies
Caramels, lollipops, gummies, sour, and hard candies are all bad for your teeth. These candies cause sugar to stick to your teeth and bacteria to grow because of the prolonged exposure. Chopping on these candies raises your risk of a dental mishap like a cracked, chipped, or infected tooth.
2.) Bread, Pasta, and Rice
Your body breaks down starchy foods to sugar. The sugar turns into a gummy-like substance and sticks to your teeth. This raises your risk of cavities and infection. Try to look for a less refined version, like whole wheat, when consuming. Whole wheat has fewer sugars that aren’t easily broken down.
3.) Sodas and Juice
Sugary drinks can cause plaque bacteria which produce acids. The acids eat away at your enamel and cause discoloration. Sodas and juice also cause dry mouth which leads to a higher risk of cavity exposure. When drinking these liquids, make sure to consume water afterward to help remove sugar build-up.
4.) Dried Fruit
Pineapples, oranges, or raisins, just to name a few- can stick to your teeth and cause spots of sugar to build up. Your teeth’s exposure to sticky foods like dried fruit can cause bacteria to grow acid at a much quicker rate because of the residue left behind. When eating dried fruits, floss afterward to lower your chance of bacteria build up.
5.) Sports drinks
Sports drinks are great for keeping athletes hydrated, but most of them have a high sugar content. Pay close attention to the sugar levels of your sports drink, most of them are as high as a soda. They also have citric acid that eats away at your enamel which leads to tooth decay. If consuming, drink plenty of water to wash some of the leftover sugar away.
Coffee in its natural state can be a healthy option, but most people can’t resist adding sugar. The extra sugar sticks to your teeth and raises your chance for cavities. Drinking coffee regularly can also stain your teeth. If drinking coffee skip the added sugar and wash your mouth out with water afterward.
7.) Lemons, Limes, Grapefruits, and Oranges
The high levels of acid in citrus foods can lead to erosion of tooth enamel over time. Adding lemon or lime to your water may taste great but it isn’t the best for your teeth. Be sure to drink plenty of plain water instead. Also, look for acidic foods that are fortified with Calcium or vitamin D to combat the effects of acid.
Alcohol consumption can cause dry mouth and dehydration. This reduces your saliva flow and leads to a buildup of bacteria. Over time it can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Heavy drinking also raises your risk for mouth cancer. To help fight off the effects caused by alcohol drink lots of water and use a fluoride rinse.
Chewing on ice is bad for your teeth. It can lead to damaged enamel over time and make you more prone to dental issues. Destroyed oral appliances, dislodged fillings, and cracked/chipped teeth are all possible outcomes of chewing ice. Skip the ice and go for a cold drink instead.
10.) Cough Drops/ Mints/ Chewing Gum
Mints and chewing gum make your breath fresher, and cough drops help when you’re sick, but the added sugar is terrible for your teeth. Look for sugar substitutes when consuming. Your body processes sugar substitutes differently so it does not “feed” the bacteria. Check for erythritol, isomalt, sorbitol, and mannitol. They are great alternatives to sugar.