We all know sugar is a tooth destroyer, but sugar isn’t the only food to wreak havoc on your teeth. There are things you eat every day that are slowly destroying your smile and it’s up to you to defend yourself from the day-to-day onslaught that our team at Overmeyer Family Dental isn’t there for!
Today we want to talk to you about some of the tooth killers that you might be enjoying without even realizing it. We don’t think you should stop eating these foods completely – everyone deserves a treat – but you should know what’s dangerous and how to prevent the damage they can cause.
Our Orlando dentist office is dedicated to making your smile healthy and happy so let us help you make great choices every day!
Problem Food #1: Starchy Treats
If sugar is bad for your teeth then surely chips, pretzels, and other starchy snacks are a good alternative! Unfortunately that isn’t the case at all! Starchy treats contain a lot of carbohydrates, the same as sugary foods, and when your body starts to break them down they quickly turn into sugar!
The plaque in your mouth contains countless bacteria that love to eat sugar. When they do they produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth and start the process of tooth decay and eventual cavities. The chips and starchy snacks you eat are just as tasty to the bacteria as a cookie so don’t underestimate the ability they have to ruin your teeth!
Problem Food #2: Sports Drinks
Nothing quenches your thirst like the various neon-colored sports drinks out there, right? They may be high in electrolytes but they’re also incredibly high in sugar! Studies have actually found that Gatorade can eat through tooth enamel faster than Coke, Red Bull, or diet soda!
The team at our Orlando dentist office recommends a different kind of drink for those intense sports and workouts: plain old water. Even better, make it water from the tap! That’s even better for your teeth since it contains fluoride!
Problem Food #3: Citrus Fruit
It’s too bad that fruit contains so many good things for your body: vitamins, fiber, and other parts of fruit are tasty and really beneficial! In citrus this is countered by the incredibly high levels of acid. Remember how plaque bacteria turns sugar into acid? Citrus just skips the middleman and goes straight for your enamel!
Lots of people hear this and think they should brush their teeth after eating or drinking citrus, but don’t do it! Acid has the effect of softening your enamel and if you brush it you could risk causing more damage than if you just left your teeth alone. We suggest simply drinking some water after you eat citrus. It will wash away the acids and leave your teeth much safer!
Problem Food #4: Chewable Vitamins
Have you ever let a regular vitamin sit in your mouth for a second? They taste absolutely horrible! Guess how the chewable vitamin people get around that? Sugar. Lots of sugar. So while you get the nutrients you need you’re also getting way more sugar than you should!
If you’re a regular vitamin taker we recommend switching to regular swallowable ones. If you’re worried about the size then try to find a smaller vitamin that you take more than one of. If you still don’t want to give up that sugary vitamin then make sure you drink a nice big glass of water afterward!
Problem Food #5: Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit is great for you as long as you don’t eat too much acidic citrus. Dried fruit isn’t as great a treat, though. The drying process removes all the water and a lot of the beneficial parts of fruit. It doesn’t remove the sugar, however, and in fact makes it far more concentrated! And just think of how many raisins you’ll eat as opposed to grapes. Dried fruit results in much more sugar!
Not only that, but dried fruit tends to get stuck in your mouth and provide a long-term feast for plaque bacteria. If you’re finding yourself snacking on some make sure you drink plenty of water!
It’s Not All Bad!
There are also plenty of wonderful foods that benefit your teeth, and we want to discuss those next week. Don’t forget that while you can do a lot at home to protect your smile there’s still nothing that can come close to a professional cleaning and exam and out Orlando dentist office. Make sure we see you regularly to ensure your best dental health!
If you’re behind on regular dentist visits call us today at 407-603-3839 or schedule an appointment using our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you keep your teeth healthy and happy!