Keeping your teeth clean is an essential part of protecting your overall health. It helps you avoid problems such as tooth decay, which is very common and can lead to tooth loss. It also reduces your risk of having gum disease, which is associated with a higher chance of developing serious conditions like heart disease. Brushing and flossing can help you keep your teeth in good condition, but you also need to watch what you eat.
You probably already know that candy isn’t good for your teeth, but you might not know exactly why. The sugar in these foods can increase your risk of tooth decay. Some of the worst sweet treats to eat include caramel, lollipops, and gummy candies. These types of sweets stick to the surface of your teeth for a much longer time. It is important to brush after eating these foods to get rid of the sugar buildup on your teeth.
2. Starchy Foods
Foods that contain white starches, such as white rice and white bread, can damage your teeth when the starches change to sugar. This can happen quickly when you have tiny bits of these foods stuck between your teeth. Brushing your teeth and flossing after eating these types of foods helps. You can also reduce the amount of damage to your teeth by eating whole grain foods, such as whole wheat bread and brown rice, instead of foods with white starch. Foods with whole grains won’t convert to sugar as quickly.
3. Acidic Foods
Foods with high amounts of acid, such as citrus fruits, can be very bad for your teeth. The acid in these foods gradually causes your tooth enamel to wear away. If your diet includes foods such as oranges and grapefruit, drink plenty of water while you eat them. The water will help rinse your teeth off while you eat. You should also wait roughly 30 to 60 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. Brushing them right after isn’t recommended since the acid temporarily softens your enamel.
4. Dried Fruits
Although you might think dried fruits are a healthy snack, they are actually not as nutritious as they seem. They are also just as bad for your teeth as sweets such as caramel, due to their high concentrations of sugar. Fresh fruits also have sugar, but the water content in them helps wash the sugar off your teeth as you eat. Since dried fruits don’t contain water, the sugars in them end up sticking to your teeth. If you do decide to eat these, make sure you thoroughly brush your teeth after eating.
In addition to limiting or reducing foods that can hurt your teeth, it is also a good idea to increase the amount of foods that are good for your teeth. Dairy products, fruits, and vegetables that are high in fiber all have beneficial effects on your oral health. They help strengthen your teeth and stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize the harmful effects of acids and sugars.
Abigail Thorpe is a freelance blogger who writes about oral health. If you live in the Bellevue, WA area, you can book an appointment online with a dentist in Bellevue for a normal cleaning.