Let’s face it - no one is genuinely happy when a regular dental check-up is due. But, we can all agree that a rendezvous with a dentist is much more pleasant without having tooth decay and gingivitis to sort out. A wise strategy to prevent these dental issues would be keeping our mouth and teeth as clean as possible; in most cases that will save us from all the poking and drilling in the dentist’s office. An extra step to help achieve this goal is to pay attention to what we eat.
We give you the list of the worst foods that can affect our dental health. Yes, we might like to indulge in them, but most of these foods fall into “sticky” and “sugary” category. They do not help our general health either. Some of these foods are not unhealthy, but you should refrain from them if you want to avoid damaging your teeth.
Soda/soft drinks are the worst among worst foods. They taste delicious, but they are full of sugar. And bacteria simply love sugar. Besides, some of them contain orthophosphoric acid that is really bad for your teeth and general health. One of the effects of orthophosphoric acid ingestion is the decrease of bone density, so think twice before ordering a soda next time. If you can’t help yourself - avoid sipping soda drinks throughout the day and avoid direct contact with teeth and gums by drinking through straws.
Not all sweet foods are necessarily bad - take dark chocolate as an example. Yet, you should avoid hard and sticky candies. Hard candies, such as lollipops, expose our teeth to high levels of sugar for a longer period of time. They can also damage the enamel, and cause cracks in teeth. Sticky candy is not far behind, as is literally gets stuck to the teeth, allowing harmful bacteria to grow freely. Even if you don't indulge yourself in these candies often, make sure to brush, floss and use mouthwash right after eating them.
These drinks won’t directly “damage” your teeth, but they will stain them. If you like your white and pearly smile, it would be best to keep the intake of coffee and tea within reasonable limits. One to two caffeinated drinks per day in their natural form won't harm your smile. But if you love adding sugar, there's a cavity threat. If you can’t ditch the sugar, drink some water after having coffee and tea. If your teeth are already tinted, you can call your dentist and schedule a deep cleaning and whitening treatment.
Popcorn is actually quite beneficial to your general health (especially salt and butter-free). Yet, these benefits can be easily beaten by their dental health disadvantages. Foods that damage your teeth are not only the sticky and sugary kind. All hard and crunchy snacks that can damage the enamel fall into “bad” category as well. Cracked and broken teeth are a bit harder to fix than small cavities, so be careful on movie nights. Kernels can easily cause cracks. Other (not so rare) consequences of eating popcorn are cuts in gums and bits that get stuck between your teeth.
Most of us can’t resist the taste of crunchy, salty potato chips. There isn’t one single health benefit of eating potato chips and they are quite damaging to your oral health. Unlike popcorn and candy, they are not so chewy and sweet, but don’t be mistaken. This snack filled with starch glues to your teeth like crazy and it’s pretty hard to get rid of its leftovers. If you can’t resist, take special care after enjoying potato chips. Flossing is a must-do for chips lovers.
Citrus fruits are extremely hard to avoid in our diet as their health benefits are countless. We will not tell you not to eat them. Instead, we’ll recommend some of the best ways to eat them so they don't damage your teeth. To reduce the damage that acid does to your enamel, use straws to drink lemonade. Never suck on lemons since that prolongs the contact of citrus with your teeth. Try not to eat citruses alone. Fruit salad that contains them can be a better option. After you've had a citrus, drink a glass of water (or swish some of it around your mouth) to dissolve the acid. Under no circumstances should you brush the teeth after eating citruses - wait for at least 30 minutes before doing it.