We all have certain snacks and drinks we love, but it’s important for you to be aware of the potentially negative impact some foods have on your oral health. Read on for a list of the 8 worst drinks and foods for teeth.
While this post isn’t ordered from worst to best, nothing deserves the first spot in this list as much as soda. We all know how bad soda is for our health, but this also includes oral well-being. A vast number of studies have shown a solid link between soda consumption and more cavities.
Soda has a very high sugar content and is highly acidic. Those acids strip minerals from your teeth enamel, as does sugar when combined with the bacteria in your mouth. A double whammy! Even diet sodas can still hurt your teeth, as they contain citric and phosphoric acid. These two acids dissolve the calcium of which your teeth are made. If you do drink soda, make sure you drink water, and swish it around in your mouth, right away.
2) Sports drinks
Even though sports drinks sound healthy, they are packed with sugar and acids, so the potential for cavities and erosion is very substantial. A study of the erosive effect of acidic beverages on the teeth found sports drinks to be the most detrimental of all. And that was competing with sodas and energy drinks, which are among the most acidic drinks available!
Alcoholic beverages pose a serious threat to your oral health. Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. This reduces saliva flow which can cause serious problems over time, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Sipping on sugary cocktails has the added danger of bathing your teeth in sugar for a long time.
We all have a favorite candy, but sugar and teeth don’t mix very well. A high sugar content combined with their sticky nature makes candy a nightmare for your teeth. Sugar is oral bacteria’s favorite snack! Hard candy doesn’t adhere to your teeth, but it can still have negative consequences on oral health. The only thing worse than candy debris stuck to your teeth for hours, is chipping off a piece of your tooth! If you crunch on hard candies you risk damaging your enamel. Be extremely careful when chewing hard substances in general.
5) Dried fruits
Many people consider dried fruit to be a healthy snack choice, and there is certainly some merit to that thought. However, when it comes to dental health, dried fruit can spell trouble. The main problem is most dried fruits are very sticky and are crammed with a big dose of natural sugars (and often added sugar) which means they can be as troublesome for your teeth as chewy candy. Your best alternative is to eat fresh fruits or make your own trail mix sans raisins.
6) Potato chips & Crackers
Everyone loves to crunch on potato chips or dip into the fish crackers, but these snacks contain a high amount of processed starch, increasing your chances of developing cavities. As tasty as chips and crackers are, unfortunately the adhesive starch content and mushy texture means they will stay trapped between your teeth for a long time. If possible, rinse with water and floss to remove the trapped debris right after consuming these snacks. Homemade chips and crackers made with vegetables or whole grains are a better option.
Many of us love to nosh on a big bucket of popcorn while watching a movie. Snacking on popcorn can pose some threat to your teeth and gum health. Popcorn pieces tend to get trapped between your teeth, promoting bacterial growth. It’s important to watch out for those unpopped kernals too, because they are very hard and can easily damage your enamel or chip a tooth.
Ice is pure water, so how bad can it be? Well, not at all, unless you decide to chew it. This is an unfortunate habit many people have because chewing ice can lead to cracked or chipped enamel. It’s best to just leave the ice in your drink and refrain from chomping on it.
Everyone has their favorite drinks and snacks and that’s ok, but we want to help you be aware of the possible side effects food can have on your oral health. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss at least once a day, and come visit us every six months! If you need to schedule your next checkup or have more questions about foods that might be are harming your teeth, contact our Meridian Campus Family Dental team.