Maintaining a healthy diet is not only good for your body but for your oral health as well. Certain foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, and yogurt, can promote oral health by strengthening the teeth and fighting off plaque-causing bacteria. Other foods, such as soda and candy, have the opposite effect.
While we want you to eat a healthy, balanced diet to promote your overall health, there are some foods that can have a negative effect on your oral health. Here are a few that you should be aware of.
Starchy foods, such as chips, crackers, bread, and pasta, are a major culprit when it comes to tooth decay. They can cause plaque buildup, which attracts bacteria. In turn, this bacteria creates acids that wear away tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.
When eating starchy foods, drink a glass of water or rinse your mouth with water afterward. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating starchy foods also helps reduce the effects of these foods on your teeth.
Foods and drinks that are high in sugar can feed oral bacteria, which can contribute to tooth decay.
Sugary foods and drinks include:
Acidic foods and drinks can wear away the enamel on your teeth. Citrus fruits, wine, sports drinks, and soda are all examples of acidic foods.
Sticky foods, such as dried fruit, gummy candies, or marshmallows can be harmful to teeth. Not only can these foods stick to teeth, causing damage, but they can also get stuck between teeth, hiding in-between spaces, and remaining there for hours. This can cause more harm than you expect.
Dried fruit is high in sugar. However, the sugars in dried fruit are concentrated and sticky. Sticky foods can be difficult to remove from teeth. If sticky foods are not removed by brushing and flossing, they may cling to the teeth and feed oral bacteria.
Alcoholic beverages can weaken enamel. Alcohol also relaxes the muscles, which can cause bruxism or grinding of the teeth.
Beer, wine, and hard liquor contain empty calories. Alcohol is also acidic, which can weaken the enamel.
Tobacco usage is detrimental to oral health. Tobacco users tend to develop poor oral care habits, like not brushing or flossing regularly. They even tend to skip their dental appointments. Smoking is highly addictive, and quitting tobacco usage requires a lot of effort.
Harmful drugs, including illegal drugs and prescription medications, affect your oral health. They can cause dry mouth, which can lead to cavities and bad breath. Some drugs also reduce the production of saliva needed to protect the mouth from germs and acid. Not only does this put you at risk for cavities and tooth decay, but it also makes you more susceptible to gum disease.
To learn more about our dental procedures, visit ROBERT A. OGIE DDS at 2730 W 16th St, Yuma, AZ 85364. Call us at (928) 726-9262 to book an appointment.
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