If you’re looking to keep a healthy, beautiful smile, your oral healthcare routine isn’t the only thing you have to think about. It’s important to take your diet into consideration as well. Dr. Mark Sowell, a dentist in Plano, TX, discusses five foods that you should avoid if you want a healthier smile.
1. Hard Candy
You may already know that chewy candy should be avoided because it gets stuck in your teeth. However, hard candy isn’t a good substitute. Though it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, it’s constantly releasing sugar as it breaks down. This means that harmful bacteria get a long period to feed off of that sugar. They release an acidic byproduct that then eats through your tooth enamel.
In addition, hard candy can lead to other problems. If you go to bite down and chew the candy before it’s worn down enough, you can crack, chip, or break your tooth. While this may only be a cosmetic issue if you’re lucky, it may break off a large chunk. If your tooth root and nerves are exposed, it can be extremely painful and lead to a need for emergency dental bonding or porcelain veneers.
2. Dried Fruit
Now that you know candy should be avoided, you may figure that fruit is a good alternative for your sweet tooth. Fresh fruits are mainly great for your teeth. But dried fruits contain a much higher concentration of sugar and lose some of their nutritional value when they’re dried.
The texture of dried fruit is often a problem as well. Many dried fruits are chewy and sticky, giving them a texture similar to chewy candy. Due to the higher concentration of sugar, it can have the same impact on your teeth as that chewy candy as well when it gets stuck.
One of the downsides of alcohol is that it’s often mixed with sugary, acidic drinks. It’s not great on its own though, either. Alcohol is something that really dries out your mouth. Saliva is an essential tool for oral health. It helps rinse away food particles and keeps food from sticking to your teeth. It even helps repair early indications of things like tooth decay or gum disease. If you drink, at least be sure to drink enough water to balance it.
It’s unlikely that you’ve thought of bread as a bad thing for your teeth. But when you chew bread, the starches in it break down into sugars. It also forms a sort of paste that easily gets stuck to your teeth while you’re eating it. Try to get bread that is whole wheat and less refined. They usually have fewer added sugars and don’t break down quite as easily.
Water is great for your oral health. However, you should probably stick to only consuming it in liquid form. An ice-chewing habit increases how fast your teeth wear down. Even if it isn’t a frequent habit, biting down at the wrong angle or time can have the same impact as biting down on hard candy.
Your Dentist in Plano, Texas
It may be hard to keep up a healthy diet during the current COVID-19 crisis. However, it’s important to keep at it for your oral health, particularly if you’ve had to miss your regular dental checkup. Call us or schedule an appointment online for the future.