Take Care of Your Teeth

Jul 07

Oral hygiene has more to do with your overall health than you might realize, and there are a lot of popular foods and drinks that taste good, but are awful for our teeth and gums. The teeth are covered in enamel, and it’s the enamel that protects each tooth from cavities. Whether you are a child, a parent, a doctor, or a veteran, it’s important that you take care of your smile. Here are some of the worst foods for oral health:

Foods That Are High in Acidity

Acidity is an important element of flavor to many dishes, and it provides a sour taste. However, when it comes to the enamel on your teeth, acidic foods are not good. That’s because acid wears down the tooth’s enamel and causes tooth decay, which can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. Acidic foods and drinks can also cause the teeth to discolor and become sensitive to temperature. Limes, tomatoes, apples, coffee, and beer are all highly acidic.

Sugary Substances

You’ve always heard that sugar is bad for your teeth, but do you understand why? Bacteria that cause plaque and rot away teeth feast on sugar, creating acidic byproducts and destroying healthy smiles. Eating a lot of sugar and then not brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to ensure that you get cavities. Although sugar intake should be limited, it’s nearly impossible to completely eliminate from your diet. Instead, brush regularly and don’t let sugar sit on your teeth for very long. Candies and desserts are high in sugar, but so are dried fruits and certain cereals. If you can’t brush your teeth right away, at least drink lots of water to rinse your mouth out.

Chewy and Sticky Treats

One of the worst things you can do to your teeth is consume a sticky substance that clings tightly to the teeth. Not only is it difficult to remove from the teeth, but it tends to get lodged in a vulnerable spot: small spaces between the teeth. When this happens, bacteria have an abundant supply of nutrients to grow fast and destroy enamel. The continued presence of this food supply allows the bacteria to produce more acid than they normally would, and it can easily lead to cavities.

Simple Carbohydrates and Starches

Processed carbohydrates and starches are immediately converted into sugar by the saliva. Although it may taste like a french fry and not a candy bar, the bacteria on your mouth don’t know the difference. The same goes for chips, pastas, rice, and bread. Not only are these foods bad for your teeth, they’re also bad for your overall health as well.

Chewing on Hard Foods

The enamel on your teeth is very hard, but it does not stand up very well to chewing hard things. Ice hard candies, and popcorn kernels are popular examples of hard things that people enjoy chewing. The problem is that you are weakening the enamel on the molars and you run the risk of chipping a tooth.

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