Changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.
Following are some common diet choices we make that can be harmful to our teeth:
Hard candy—In addition to being full of sugar, hard candies can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth. Instead, chew sugarless gum that carries the ADA Seal.
Chewing ice—Chewing on hard substances such as ice can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel.
Acidic foods—Frequent exposure to acidic foods, such as citric fruits, can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time. They can also irritate mouth sores.
Coffee and tea—In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately too many people can’t resist adding sugar. Coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth and may also stain your teeth.
Sticky foods—Dried fruits, trail mix and other sticky foods can damage your teeth because they tend to stay on the teeth longer.
Crunchy foods—Crunchy treats such as potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth. Take extra care when you floss to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.
Sodas and soft drinks—Plaque bacteria use the sugar in sodas and soft drinks to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore, bad for your teeth.
Alcohol consumption—Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral infections such as gum disease. Heavy alcohol use also increases your risk for mouth cancer.
Sports drinks—Many sports and energy drinks contain excessive sugar. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while sports drinks can be helpful for young athletes engaged in prolonged, vigorous physical activities, in most cases they are unnecessary.
Dr. Douglas Angell and the staff at Angell’s Dentistry are committed to helping you keep your mouth healthy. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.