You know candy and chocolate can be damaging to your healthy smile. But, what else? There are two main food components that are detrimental to your teeth: sugar and acid.
Bacteria feast on your plaque buildup created by your sugar consumption and produce lactic acid, which erodes your tooth enamel. Sucrose is the worst form of sugar because it adheres to teeth very strongly making it, and the bacteria, difficult to remove even when brushing.
Acids naturally occur in many foods, including fruit. Acidic foods eat away at your enamel and break down your teeth directly. You can wash away natural acids by just drinking water. However, brushing soon after consuming acidic foods or beverages can actually cause more damage because teeth are permeable, brushing softens them and makes them more susceptible to acid. Wait at least an hour before brushing after eating acidic foods.
Believe it or not, the following 10 foods can be the most damaging to your teeth.
Apples are very high in acid. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash shortly after.
Hard candies are especially harmful because we tend to hold them in our mouths longer.
Pickles are made with vinegar, which is acidic. Vegetables may be healthy but the brine can damage your teeth. Remember to brush an hour later.
Many breads contain sugar, especially processed white breads. Bread is also sticky and gets between and behind your teeth.
Popcorn gets stuck in your teeth, and the areas between your teeth will build up more bacteria for that reason. Rinse your mouth with water and floss after.
Sticky and often made with sugar, peanut butter not only feeds bacteria but makes it easier for them to adhere to teeth.
Just like peanut butter, jelly is loaded with sugar. Even the all-fruit brands contain natural sugars and encourage plaque and bacteria if not washed away soon.
Some meat products contain sugar as a preservative and gets stuck in between your teeth. While the amount of sugar may not be very high, any food that sits between your teeth can promote tooth decay.
The acidity of diet sodas is very high, making it one of the worst products for your teeth.
Salad dressings are composed of vinegar and sugar for flavor.
While many of these foods are healthy, you should try and care for your teeth soon after eating them. Drinking water with your meal and rinsing with an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash or flossing and brushing with toothpaste reduces the risk of damage.
Furthermore, consider the length of time food is left in your mouth. The more time bacteria have to produce acids, the more damage will be done.
So, watch what you eat and drink and don’t forget to call us when you’re ready to schedule your dental cleaning appointment.