Nearly everyone knows that eating too many sugary foods will cause damage to your teeth.. And to prevent that damage daily brushing and flossing is used to combat the harmful effects of the foods which we eat.
However, it is important to know which foods cause more damage so you can work to reduce the amount you consume or increase the frequency you clean your teeth. So here are some foods you might want to look out for if you want to keep your pearly whites healthy.
1. Hard Candies
This should be one of the most obvious foods to avoid. Hard candies are sticky and take a long time to dissolve in your mouth. That added time allows the candies to work at breaking down tooth enamel longer than other foods.
Since they are essentially just a hardened form of sugar you should limit your intake of these destructive sweets.
2. Sugary Drinks
Drinks such as soda and sports drinks are filled with sugar and acid. Each time you take a sip of that soda you are rinsing your teeth with sugars and acids which are highly destructive.
Since the typical soda takes time to drink you are prolonging the time that the acid and sugar have to work on your teeth. This includes diet sodas as they still have very high levels of acid.
3. Coffee and Tea
Both coffee and tea will stain your teeth and cause them to yellow over time. This might not sound as if it is too damaging, however the stain left on your teeth will allow more food particles to cling to your teeth and do damage.
Many citrus foods such as lemons, limes or even tomatoes contain very high levels of acid as well as sugars. These foods are fine in small amounts and if you wash away the citric acid with water after eating them. The more you can limit the amount of exposure your teeth have with these acids the better.
You might not realize it but adding an alcoholic drink to your meal could be damaging your teeth. Alcohol works to decrease saliva production. The saliva in your mouth is a natural defense to wash away the acids and sugars from foods that you’ve just eaten. Without this saliva your teeth will have more exposure to damaging sugars and acids.
6. Dried Fruits
Many people love to enjoy some dried fruits as a healthier alternative to processed snacks. However, these dried fruits are loaded with sugar and are often times very sticky and will adhere to your teeth. As an alternative you could eat fresh fruits as they wont stick to your teeth as easily. If you are going to eat dried fruits then be sure to brush afterwards.
7. Starchy Foods
Foods such as white bread and potato chips will often get stuck in your teeth. The longer that food sits there the easier it is for bacteria to grow around it and create plaque. Starchy foods also contain high levels of sugars which the bacteria feeds on. Since these foods can get stuck for long periods of time they can cause significant damage.
For much the same reason as above, popcorn will often become stuck in your teeth as you are chewing. If the movies just aren’t the same without your bag of popcorn try bringing along some water to help wash away some of the stuck kernels and shells.
9. Salad Dressings and Condiments
Salad dressing is generally made with vinegar and sugars. Vinegar works as a powerful acid and will promote tooth decay. The sugars that are found in barbecue sauce and ketchup work with the vinegar to damage your teeth.
10. Peanut Butter
Being both sticky and sugary, peanut butter will get caught in your mouth and will work to eat away at your teeth. Peanut butter is generally loaded with sugar, however turning to a natural or no sugar added peanut butter will help keep your teeth strong.
Be sure to watch out for any other foods that are both sticky and have large amounts of either sugar or acid in them. These foods will work to harm your teeth, so be conscious in your diet and try to limit these types of foods.