Tooth decay develops gradually – a product of years of unhealthy oral habits. Left untreated, it could affect deeper structures in your mouth and develop into a condition that may require surgical intervention or tooth loss.
Your oral health is strongly linked to your overall health, so it’s vital to cultivate healthy habits. It’s especially important to brush your teeth after eating any of the following 10 foods so that they do not cause a harmful impact on your teeth:
#1 Sour Candies and Hard Candies
The sugar from hard candy lingers on your teeth for some time while your saliva slowly dissolves it. Similarly, sour candy is typically chewy and can get stuck to your teeth.
Some of the sugar in these candies remains on your teeth and attracts bacteria, which then form plaque. Plaque releases acids that weaken the enamel. It’s therefore ideal to limit the candy you consume, and to always practice good oral habits to avoid plaque formation.
Starchy foods such as bread and pasta tend to get stuck in between your teeth. Studies have shown that intake of starch can increase your risk of developing cavities.
Just like sugars, bacteria feed on starches that are left in your mouth to form plaque. Plaque can harden into tartar, which creates a shield for bacteria and makes it harder to remove the plaque.
Coffee and other acidic drinks can wear down enamel. Try limiting your coffee intake, drink a lot of water to rinse it away from your teeth, and brush regularly.
Although the negative effects of alcohol on the heart and liver are commonly known, alcoholic drinks can also damage your teeth. Studies have shown that people who drink alcohol and smoke have a higher risk of developing advanced dental disorders like periodontitis and oral cancer.
#5 Soft Drinks and Sugary Juices
Since any food or drink with sugar increases your risk of cavities, it’s best to stick to water for hydration. Limit your intake of sugary drinks as much as possible.
#6 Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and limes can erode your teeth’s enamel due to their high acid content. Acidic foods like these can cause tooth sensitivity, decay, and discoloration, so remember to consume them in moderation.
When you do eat citrus fruit, drink water to help balance out the acid levels in your mouth and to rinse the acid off of your teeth as much as possible. And as always, brush.
#7 Dried Fruits
Raisins, dried prunes, and other dried fruits tend to cling to the crevices in your teeth, making it difficult to fully wash away with saliva. If you have the option between choosing dried fruit and its fresh variant, the latter is the healthier option.
#8 Apple Cider Vinegar
Like citrus fruits, apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic – so consuming it can damage teeth enamel. Although there are various claims about its many health benefits, it’s better for your teeth if you consume apple cider vinegar in moderation.
#9 Tomato Products
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, like lycopene, but they are also acidic. This poses a risk to the enamel over time.
#10 Spicy Foods
Certain spicy foods can trigger dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay, fungal infections, and cavities. Therefore, it’s best to consume spicy foods sparingly.
Quality Oral Care in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Knowing which foods to avoid or to lessen in your diet is a good step in taking care of your teeth. To maintain your oral health, we recommend regular visits to your dentist to address dental issues before they develop into more serious problems.
At Hagerman Dental Care, we provide advanced and compassionate dentistry for our patients in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. To request an appointment, call us today at (651) 646-2392 or complete our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you keep that beautiful smile.