Want to keep that smile shining bright – without chips or cavities? Here are 8 foods to avoid or eat carefully and follow up with good teeth cleansing.
1. Sticky Foods. If it sticks it has time to do more damage as the food spends more time on your teeth. Dried fruit – which sounds like a healthy snack – is an offender. If you eat sticky food, make sure to rinse with water and brush and floss carefully.
2. Ice. Use it to make things colder, not to increase your water intake. Ice is hard and that can make a dental emergency from a broken or chipped tooth a possibility. Also, that hard ice can damage your enamel so keep the ice in the glass doing what it’s supposed to do – keeping your drink cold.
3. Alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates. If you drink excessively, it can reduce the saliva flow in your mouth and that can lead to tooth decay and oral infections. Your saliva is designed to help protect your teeth and mouth. Heavy alcohol use can even increase your risk of mouth cancer. Moderation is the key.
4. Crunch. That wonderful crunch of a chip – admit it, you love it. But, that chip is loaded with starch and starch sticks to your teeth. That can lead to a buildup of plaque. So, be careful to floss and brush after eating these snacks.
5. Coffee. Coffee and tea are an everyday drink for many. Remember they are caffeinated so that can dry your mouth. They also can stain your teeth. Plus, if you add sugar, you’re adding another thing that can harm your teeth. So, if you enjoy that cuppa, drink lots of water, too, and limit the added sugar.
6. Hard Candies. They taste good and they don’t have too many calories – but they are full or sugar and, if you bite, that could lead to a broken or chipped tooth. The American Dental Association says try sugarless gum instead.
7. Citrus. It’s the acid. Acidic foods can harm enamel and make your teeth more vulnerable to decay over time. You love that squeeze of lime or lemon to your water, but it may not be the best thing for teeth. Plus, citric fruits and juices can also mare mouth sores irritated and more painful.
8. Soda. Sugar is a favorite of plaque. After all, plaque uses that sugar to produce the acid that can harm your enamel. Carbonated soft drinks are not only sugary – they’re acidic and that holds true of diet soda, too. Trade the colas and the sports drinks for water. Water is good for you and good for your mouth.
Watch what you eat. Practice moderation. Brush and floss. Make sure that you get regular dental checkups. Choose a full-service dental office and they’ll be able to take care of all your needs and guide you to the best choices for a healthy mouth.