Everyone is familiar with the effects of a poor diet. We plan our entire days around healthy eating habits, and try to make lifestyle changes that will improve our overall health. The problem with many of these diets is that they fail to take your oral health into consideration.
Not all foods are created equal, and many can actually do lasting damage to your teeth. There’s more to oral health than just regular checkups and basic hygiene. We need to have a cursory understanding of the types of nutrition that support healthy teeth, and the types that will have lasting negative effects.
Many of our problems with tooth decay actually start in our childhood. Kids really don’t understand how different types of food can affect their mouths, and they don’t have the best oral hygiene habits.
Every parent has experienced the nightly battle of bedtime. The fight to get kids to properly brush and floss, while still getting them to bed at a reasonable time. Sugary foods mixed with poor oral hygiene lead to early instances of tooth decay. Some of these poor habits can cause serious problems in adulthood. This can lead you to seek out an emergency dentist in Mesa, Arizona. There are some simple foods to avoid in order to minimize damage to teeth.
Think twice before reaching for some of these common foods:
Sucking on hard candies can expose your teeth to sugars for prolonged periods of time. This gives sugar plenty of time to sink into every nook and cranny in your mouth. Sugar feeds the bacteria that makes up plaque, and plaque produces acids that eat through teeth. This eats away at enamel, and causes cavities and tooth decay. Drink lots of water and brush after indulging in hard candies in order to help prevent serious problems.
If you enjoy quickly crunching through your candies, you’re at risk for another issue. This can cause cracks and broken teeth- leading to pain and emergency dental care.
Soda and Acidic Soft Drinks
Sugary drinks are one of our favorite snacks. They seem to accompany every meal, and are cheaper than bottled water at many vending machines. With many containing caffeine and high levels of sugar, some sodas are actually addictive in some ways. In other words- we drink a lot of soda! Soda coats the teeth with sugar that is constantly introduced after every single drink. This is only the beginning.
The sugars are mixed with high levels of acids that can break down enamel, and allow for accelerated tooth decay. Soda not only weakens the teeth, but allows high levels of sugar to coat the surface for hours after consumption. The best way to avoid this problem is to cut out soda and sugary drinks altogether. If you can’t do this, make sure that you’re brushing after you indulge.
Caramels, Taffy, and Sticky Foods
This one is kind of common sense. When you chew on sugary candies, you’re leaving that coating on your teeth that plaque love. When those sugary candies are sticky, they can attach the sugar to crevices in your teeth for prolonged periods of time. An unnoticed patch of caramel on one of your molars can provide a nice warm pocket of sugar for the bacteria in your mouth to feast on. This is a surefire way to cause serious tooth decay.
Harmful foods in this category aren’t just relegated to candy. Anything that sticks to your teeth and takes a long time to dislodge can be harmful. Certain cookies and even peanut butter can be an issue!
It’s okay to enjoy your favorite snacks in moderation. Just make sure to keep your teeth in mind next time you do!