Our diet significantly affects how healthy our teeth and mouth stay. While many foods contribute to a healthy mouth, there are also many foods that contribute to cavities, wear and tear, erosion and even gum disease. Here are the main foods to avoid in maintaining a healthy mouth.
Sweets & Candies
As we know, foods that contain sugar contribute to cavities. In particular, foods that are sticky and chewy and get stuck in the biting surfaces of our teeth are highly cavity-causing. Saliva is naturally cleansing and removes oral bacteria. Still, when sugars are stuck in the grooves and fissures of teeth, saliva has less chance of clearing it away, leaving it to turn into acids that eventually cause cavities.
Soda-containing sugars can lead to cavities due to their high sugar content. But did you know that “diet” and “zero” sodas can also cause damage to your teeth? That’s because soda is highly acidic. When acidic liquid is consumed, it can lead to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity. When your teeth are consistently bathed in an acidic liquid, the exposure can cause damage. Interestingly, if you sip on one soda for a long period throughout the day, it’s worse for your teeth than drinking the entire can in one shot. This is due to prolonged exposure to the acidic liquid.
Citrus Fruits & juices
Even though citrus fruits and (some) juices can be considered healthy, they can still lead to enamel erosion and wear. This is for much the same reason as soda. Any foods or drinks that are lower on the pH scale, meaning a higher acid content, can cause damage to your teeth. Be sure to drink water or rinse your mouth with water after consumption of acidic foods and beverages to rinse away the acid.
Alcohol is bad for your oral health as it causes dry mouth. Alcohol dehydrates your mouth as well as your body. When you have less saliva production, you have less ability to clear sugars and acids from your teeth and gums. Therefore, consumption of alcohol can lead to cavities, enamel wear and even gum disease.
So, what foods can you eat that will help keep your teeth and gums healthy? Listed below are foods that are beneficial for a healthy smile.
Crunchy fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, especially raw, can help manually cleanse your mouth of bacteria, acids and sugars. There is a natural cleansing action when chewing on crunchy fruits and veg that can help prevent cavities and even gum disease. Some fruits and vegetables are better than others. Think apples, carrots and celery vs. bananas, tomatoes and pineapple.
Cheese is high on the pH scale, meaning low in acidity. Therefore, cheese consumed after a meal can help balance your mouth’s pH, preventing sugars and acids from causing cavities.
If you have any questions about your oral health, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.