Are You Unwittingly Damaging Your Teeth?
Take a moment to think about the amount of time you spend taking care of your teeth. You brush them, you floss them (at least, you should, ), and you have most likely used a wide range of mouthwashes and other products to freshen breath and protect your teeth. With all of this time invested in making sure that your teeth are as healthy as possible, wouldn’t it be horrible to find out that all of your work is, essentially, worthless? While we hate resorting to scare tactics here at Balboa Victory Dentist Office, occasionally we find them useful when trying to convey a particular message. If you ask the average person about foods and drinks that are bad for teeth, they will most likely focus on candy and soda as some of the worst substances that a person can consume. Although it is true that both candy and soda aren’t exactly great for a person’s teeth, there are many other foods and beverages that can cause damage. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of these foods and beverages in the hope that all of our readers are better informed when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth.
Sugar Isn’t the Only Thing You Should Avoid
When you get down to the nitty-gritty facts of oral health, plaque is the primary villain. Plaque forms from the bacteria in the mouth and, if left unchecked, can quickly turn into tartar which is orders of magnitude harder to get rid of once it has formed. The root cause of plaque, mouth bacteria, feeds itself off of the food and beverages that you consume. The more foods and beverages you consume that the bacteria can feed off of, the more bacteria you will have in your mouth. To help you stay informed, below we have listed some of the most detrimental foods and beverages in relation to bacterial growth in the mouth.
- Acidic Foods: Although you might think that foods high in acidity would actually help to kill off the bacteria in your mouth, the opposite is actually true. While highly acidic food will not necessarily increase the amount of bacteria in the mouth, they make it easier for the bacteria to damage your teeth. Foods such as lemons, pickles, and apples can strip away the enamel of your teeth, making it much easier for tooth decay and cavities to develop. Additionally. Weakened enamel can lead to sensitivity in the teeth, a problem that most people wish to avoid at all costs. Beverages that are highly acidic, such as coffee, lemonade, soda, and alcohol, may also work to strip the enamel from your teeth, however, they are less likely to do as much damage as they do not cling to the teeth and gums in the same way that foods do. Regardless, you should take extra care to properly rinse your mouth with water after partaking in particularly acidic substances.
- Chewy/Sticky Foods: When it comes to dangerous substances for your teeth, foods that are particularly chewy or sticky are some of the worst. Most people assume that chewy/sticky foods are bad for your teeth because it takes so much force to chew them, leading to issues with the stability of the teeth. In reality, being difficult to chew is not what makes these foods so dangerous; it’s the fact that they get stuck to your teeth. When food gets stuck to your teeth, it creates a mini-buffet for the bacteria in your mouth. They are able to latch onto that food, chow down, and produce massive amounts of acid (the natural byproduct of bacterial digestion). As we mentioned in the previous bullet, acid is bad for your teeth and should be avoided at all costs. If you don’t see giving up sticky or chewy foods anytime soon, we implore you to carry toothpicks or dental floss with you at all times. A quick cleaning after a meal can go a long way in helping to maintain the health of your mouth.
Join us again next time as we continue to cover the worst foods and beverages for your teeth and, as always, if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists call or visit our website today. We have been Encino’s go-to dentist for years and we are certain that we can help you achieve your oral health goals.