Everyone wishes for healthy and beautiful teeth, but this requires some effort and knowledge about how to care for them. We all know that brushing twice a day, rinsing the mouth after meals, flossing, using mouthwash, and regularly visiting the dentist, will help to maintain good oral health. This article is all about bad food for teeth. Little that we know is that maintaining dental health also requires a check of what we eat and drink and the foods play a vital role in affecting our oral well-being. Since childhood we’ve been told not to eat many sweets, otherwise, our teeth will be damaged, it’s true, but not just sweets, there are many other foods which may be good for our health but bad food for teeth. Let us look into these and know what foods to avoid and how to care for your teeth if you consume them.
What are the bad foods for your teeth?
- Sugary and sticky foods: Food and drinks full of sugar and those which stick to your teeth and gums are attacked by the bacteria in your mouth, which feeds on it and produces toxins. These toxins eat away your tooth structure, developing cavities. Food items like candies, caramel, toffees, chocolates, cakes, jams, and jellies are well known to cause tooth damage but also dried fruits like raisins, dates, fruit leather, etc. which are otherwise healthy may cause damage to your teeth.
- Refined Carbohydrates: Who doesn’t love French fries, potato chips, white bread, crackers? Although these are tasty, but really bad for your teeth because these are simple carbohydrates that quickly convert into sugars. These sugars mix with bacteria in your mouth, ferment and produce lactic acid which is efficient in eroding your teeth, hence is bad food for teeth.
- Acidic foods and drinks: Foods/drinks rich in acids like lemons, oranges, tomatoes, sour candies, sauces, pastries, wine, etc. are also the worst things for your teeth. Over time, the acids in them take away the hard enamel covering over your teeth’ surface, making them sensitive and exposing the inner softer structures to harmful bacteria.
Always consume them with water, so that the acid is diluted and neutralized so as to avoid destruction to the teeth.
- Coffee and tea: These beverages are everyone’s favorite and although they don’t directly facilitate cavities, they cause staining of teeth and give an unaesthetic look to your teeth. Also, caffeine, present in tea/coffee causes dryness of the mouth which can result in bad breath and tooth decay because of the decreased amount of saliva in the mouth.
- Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol also results in dryness of the mouth, which in turn causes tooth cavities, as the sugars are not swept away because of a decrease in saliva. Some alcohol like red wine may also cause staining of teeth.
- Soda or carbonated soft drinks: Carbonated drinks are loaded with sugars and artificial colors which are bad, both for your oral and general health. Even sugar-free and plain soda is harmful as it contains lots of phosphoric and citric acid which may cause erosion of your teeth, and so are bad foods for your teeth.
- Colored foods: Hyperpigmented foods like beetroots, berries, soy sauce, food colors, etc. can cause staining of teeth.
- Sports drinks and energy drinks: They all contain sugar and soda which cause teeth damage and even sugarless drinks may cause erosion of the enamel.
- Popcorn: Firstly, they aid in the formation of lactic acid which may result in teeth damage, and secondly, they stick to your teeth and thus cause cavities if not cleaned properly.
- Peanut butter, flavored milk, and yogurts: They all contain sugar and clings to your teeth if not rinsed soon, thus causing damage to your teeth.
- Ice: Biting on ice may cause your tooth to crack, as it is very hard, and the worst thing for your teeth.
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What are some of the precautions which you can take to avoid damage to your teeth?
- Always brush/rinse your mouth properly after consuming sugary foods, tea/coffee, colored foods to minimize their ill effects.
- Use a straw while drinking citrus fruits juices or drink water or rinse your mouth after having anything containing citric acid.
- Brush and Floss your teeth properly and remove all food particles stuck to your teeth, after eating sticky foods.
- You can consume cottage cheese after consuming foods that are acidic because the cheese will neutralize the acids and also increase saliva in your mouth.
- Do not directly bite on very hard food substances like whole nuts or ice.
- Drink lots of water.
Try to cut down or avoid food items from your diet, which are bad food for teeth.
- Processed carbohydrates like white bread, potato chips, French fries, etc.
- Sweets, gummy foods, candies, jams, caramel, aerated soft drinks, etc.
- Alcohol/ tea/coffee.
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