Certain foods can harm your teeth and gums. They promote tooth decay and gum disease. These can also increase the risks of tooth loss. Here is a list of some foods and beverages that can harm our oral health.
Sports drinks and energy drinks
These drinks are highly acidic, which can leave your teeth feeling sticky and inflamed. Many energy drinks also contain caffeine, which can increase your risk of tooth decay by leaving your mouth without saliva for prolonged periods of time or causing you to clench your jaw when drinking the beverage. Some sports drinks are high in sugar, so they’re better to avoid as well. Water is always the best choice!
Sugary snacks and junk foods
As you already know, sugar feeds the plaque bacteria that live in your mouth and cause cavities and gum disease. The less sugar you consume, the less fuel you give those harmful bacteria. However, that doesn’t mean you should completely avoid sugary foods and drinks because they are also an important part of a healthy diet. As long as you’re eating the right kinds of sweets—ones that are high in nutrients and low in added sugars—they won’t hurt your teeth and gums. It’s the “junk food” that’s bad for your teeth. Sodas, candy, cookies, and other sweet treats are the main sources of added sugar in most people’s diets. It’s best to limit these foods to special occasions rather than having them every day. That way, you still enjoy the treats you love without putting your oral health at risk!
Sticky or gummy candies
Another type of food that should be avoided is sticky or gummy candies. These candies stick to your teeth and get trapped between teeth, attracting even more plaque-causing bacteria. They take longer time to eat and are more difficult to get washed off by saliva.
The sticky texture of dried fruit can cause tooth decay. Also, the high sugar content of raisins, figs, and other common dried fruits can cause cavities and tooth decay. When you do eat dried fruit, try to do so with meals or shortly after a meal when saliva production is higher. This additional saliva will help wash away some of the leftover sugars from your meal. And rinse your mouth afterward.
Drinking alcohol affects your entire body, including your mouth. It can dry out the mouth and leave you more susceptible to oral infections such as gum disease or tooth decay. It also stains your teeth. The sugar in the alcoholic beverage will feed the bacteria in your mouth and cause cavities to form in as little as an hour. Additionally, since alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it can lower your resistance to infection and slow healing in the mouth. It can also interfere with other medications that your dentist might prescribe for your oral health problems, so avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for at least an hour before your appointment. If you can’t avoid it altogether, try drinking water in between drinks to rinse off the sugar and reduce the risk of damage to your teeth. You can also swish water around in your mouth after eating to help control the amount of sugar lingering on your teeth.
For the best dental care in San Jose, CA, call (408) 243-4216, schedule an appointment, or visit us at 251 O'Connor Drive Suite #3, San Jose, CA 95128.