Quick quiz: what’s the worst thing for your teeth? If you think it’s sugar you’re right, but do you know where you get your sugar from? Do you know what other foods can contribute to sugar’s tooth-destroying tendencies?
At Edgewood Dental Care we know exactly what foods you need to watch out for when you’re choosing your next snack or meal! You’d be surprised at the things that are ruining your teeth! We want each and every one of our patients to have great oral health, and we usually only see you twice a year – we’ll do whatever we can to help you learn great habits!
Problem Food #1: Starchy Snacks
Do you love chips, pretzels, bread, and other starchy snacks? If so you’re in for a surprise: they’re just as bad for your teeth as candy, cookies, and sweets! Starchy snacks might not contain fructose, the super sweet sugar that’s found in our sodas and candy, but it does contain a lot of glucose!
Glucose is a sugar in the same way that fructose is, and the bacteria that lives in your mouth loves to feast on it just as much as it loves that Jolly Rancher you’re eating! Your mouth quickly breaks the carbohydrates in starch down into sugar, and your plaque bacteria quickly turns it into tooth-destroying acids!
Be careful not to ignore your salty snacks’ capability to ruin your teeth, and don’t wash them down with soda – drink plain old water to help protect your teeth!
Problem Food #2: Dried Fruit
Dried cherries, apricots, raisins, and other delicious, chewy dried fruit might taste good and have a lot of nutrients but they also have a lot of sugar too! Fruit contains a lot of fructose that turns right into fat and plaque acids that ruin your teeth!
Plain ripe fruit counteracts the high levels of sugar by having a lot of fiber in it to help stimulate saliva growth but most of that fiber is lost when they’re dried! This leaves the sugar free to do its dirty work on your precious teeth enamel!
Dried fruit is also sticky, giving it the ability to hang around and do even more damage! Plaque bacteria loves to feast and will keep doing it as long as there’s sugar around!
Problem Food #3: Sports Drinks
They’re full of electrolytes, and who doesn’t crave those after a big workout? You might need to replenish your body but those sports drinks also come with a huge addition of sugar to your diet, which you definitely don’t need!
Tests comparing the tooth-destroying effects of Gatorade, Coca-Cola, diet soda, and Red Bull actually found that Gatorade and other sports drinks were worse for your teeth! It’s hard to believe but taking a swig of that delicious lemon-lime can actually be causing harm to your body right after you worked so hard to keep it in shape!
Your best bet for an after-exercise drink? Plain old delicious water.
Problem Food #4: Citrus Fruit
Who doesn’t love a nice fresh orange, grapefruit, or other citrus? Whether it’s to eat or to drink citrus is wonderfully refreshing, especially at the tail end of a Kentucky summer! But all citrus harbors a tooth-destroying secret: high levels of acids!
Just like the acids your plaque bacteria produce, citrus has tons of the stuff that destroys your enamel. It’s almost like you’re doing your plaque a favor with every glass of lemonade you drink – you just skip the middleman and go straight to ruining your teeth!
If you’re going to eat citrus make sure you wash it down with water. Avoid citrus drinks like orange juice and lemonade due to all the added sugar – you’d be bombarding your teeth with acid, sugar, and more acid!
Take Care Of Your Smile!
You don’t need to eliminate these foods completely. A moderate intake of anything can be enjoyable and have minimal side effects. Just be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss in the evenings, and see us at our Edgewood dentist office for regular dental cleanings and exams!
To contact our team at Edgewood Dental Care call us at 859-474-7830! If you want to schedule an appointment you can do so on the phone or by filling out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you soon!