While making sure brushing and flossing are extremely important, your diet may have more of an impact on your oral health than you think. Various foods can increase your chances of developing dental issues. Garner Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, a dentist in Garner, NC, highlights which foods you should try to avoid.
1. Hard Candy
While you probably know that chewy candy should be avoided, hard candy isn’t a suitable substitute. While it doesn’t get stuck on and between your teeth, it releases sugar into your mouth the entire time it’s dissolving. Harmful oral bacteria feed on this and release acidic byproducts the whole time, too, leading to tooth decay and cavities.
Hard candy can also lead to a dental emergency. If you bite down on the candy before it’s dissolved enough, or bite down at the wrong angle, you risk cracking or breaking your tooth. If you’re lucky, it’ll just be cosmetic damage. However, if not, it could lead to pain and needing emergency dentistry.
2. Dried Fruit
It seems like fruit would be a good choice when you’re craving something sweet. But you should stick to the fresh variety. Dried fruit is often a chewy, sticky consistency that’s similar to chewy candy. During the drying process, fruit becomes more concentrated with sugar and loses essential nutrients as well. By the time the process is finished, it’s not much better than candy.
3. Chips and Crackers
You may not see many sugars added in the nutrition facts, but that doesn’t mean these salty snacks are safe. Both are simple starches, which break down into sugars as they’re consumed. Crackers turn into a paste that gets in the crevices of your teeth, while chip particles get wedged in between them. Make sure to rinse your mouth out with water when you’re done snacking.
4. Sports Drinks
These are usually seen as a healthier alternative to soda and energy drinks. But when you compare the sugar content, it’s usually the same or higher than these options. Many sports drinks are also flavored with citric acid, which increases how fast your enamel erodes away.
While water is one of the best options for a healthy mouth, you should stick to the liquid version. A habit of chewing on ice can increase how fast your teeth wear down. It also can have the same problem as hard candy. If you bite down at a certain angle or before it’s dissolved enough, you risk serious damage to your teeth.
Your Dentist in Garner, North Carolina
Make sure to visit your dentist regularly to make sure your diet isn’t doing a number on your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online.