Like the rest of your body, teeth require a healthy, balanced diet, as well as taking time to brush, rinse and floss properly in order to maintain your dental health. The food and drinks we consume can also affect how long our teeth last.. If you want to keep a healthy looking smile for years to come, make healthy choices with respect to the foods and beverages you consume.
With Halloween right around the corner, it’s important to keep in mind that the acidity in sour candy is very harmful to your teeth. While all sugar isn’t necessarily great for your health, sour candy is especially damaging as they contain high levels of acid. Acid dissolves away tooth enamel increasing your risk of developing dental problems. Less acidic candies, such as chocolate, are a better choice if you’re going to indulge.
Sorry to tell you, bread lovers, but starch can be as harmful to your teeth as candy without proper daily hygiene. Your saliva will break down the starch in bread into sugar. This creates a gummy-like substance that contributes to plaque buildup. It’s not just bread, any source of carbohydrates, for instance, pasta and granola bars can also contribute to this process.
Less refined breads, such as whole wheat, are typically less starchy and can contain less sugar that isn’t broken down as easily. To minimize this, always brush and floss after every meal.
Moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but it isn’t generally considered healthy. Alcohol can stain your teeth, cause dry mouth and can contain high amounts of sugar.
Carbonated Drinks and Ice
A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health found that drinking large quantities of soda can be just as damaging to your teeth as using drugs such as methamphetamine and crack cocaine. In addition, carbonated drinks, dry out your mouth and produce acids that attack tooth enamel.
According to the American Dental Association, ice is for chilling, not chewing! Chewing on hard substances, such as ice, can cause enamel fracture, and possibly tooth loss.
Frequent exposure to acidic foods can damage enamel. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges and grapefruit are good sources of folate, thiamine and vitamin C, however, they are not always the best choice for your enamel. Be sure to neutralize the acid with brushing, or at least rinsing with water.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Enjoying these foods and drinks in moderation will help you keep a healthy smile. You can prevent plaque buildup by brushing and flossing after every meal, brushing at least twice a day, and scheduling regular check-ups and cleanings with your local dentist office.