The Five Worst Foods for Your Smile
You are what you eat… and that couldn’t be more true for your teeth! Why? There are many foods and beverages that lead to plaque, which can cause serious damage to your smile.
What exactly is ‘plaque’? Well… in simplest terms, it’s not good! Plaque is a bacteria-filled, sticky film that contributes to a breakdown in your enamel – leading to cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. Aside from a consistent oral hygiene routine; and regular trips to the dentist – we’ve identified five foodie culprits that are especially harmful to your teeth. Perhaps some might surprise you!
It might be of very little surprise that candy is a no go for improving the look and health of your smile (if it is, check out our last blog post!). But sour candy contains different kinds of acids that are tougher on your poor teeth. Even more? Sour candies have a tendency to be chewy, so they stick to your teeth for a longer time – giving more of an opportunity to wreak havoc. This increased exposure leads to a higher chance of tooth decay. If your craving something that is irresistibly sweet, consider a square of chocolate that you can chew quickly and wash away easily – especially if you follow up with a glass of water!
Don’t hate the messenger…. But the truth is, drinking wine; beer or your favorite cocktails cause your mouth to dry out. A dry mouth lacks saliva, which is our body’s natural, effective way to keep our teeth healthy, sparkling and clean. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth, and washes away food particles. Always try to drink in moderation, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and brush your teeth after indulging in a few of your favorite beverages.
Chewing on a hard substance (such as frozen water!) can damage enamel, and make you susceptible to stressful dental emergencies – including chipped, cracked or broken teeth, or even loosened crowns. Use your ice to chill your beverages, but don’t chew on it… your smile (and dentist!) will thank you!
Who can resist that oh so satisfying crunch? While chips are an incredibly tasty snack, unfortunately, they are loaded with starch – which becomes sugar; that can get trapped in the crevices of your teeth. Those sugars then feed the bacteria in plaque. Our recommendation? After indulging on a bag (…barbeque is our favorite flavor!), whip out the floss to remove hidden, trapped particles.
While a great way to add some flavor and fun, to a plain old glass of water – citrus is not the best choice for your teeth and gums. The acidity can erode enamel, making your precious pearly whites more susceptible to erosion over time. Even more? Citrus fruits and juices can cause further irritation to mouth sores. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… be sure to drink plenty of PLAIN water as much as you can.
The most important takeaway is that moderation is key to improve your overall wellness, and oral hygiene. By all means enjoy a small bag of chips, or have that glass of wine at a party– but take steps to keep your smile healthy and bright, as well. Brush and floss regularly, drink plenty of water, and visit the dentist consistently.
Stay tuned to our next post, where we’ll explore five foods that are tasty, and beneficial for your teeth and gums!
Dr. Ed Lowe
The Lowe Centre of Cosmetic Dentistry