Your diet may have more of an impact on your oral health than you realize. Even if you’re diligent with your bi-annual checkups and brush and floss frequently at home, you may still have dental problems because of your diet. Dr. Cappy Sinclair of Coastal Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, a dentist in Virginia Beach, VA, tells you some foods to avoid if you want to keep your smile healthy.
1. Hard Candy
While chewy candy may seem like a given as something to avoid, it doesn’t mean that hard candy should be a substitute. Hard candy doesn’t get stuck in your teeth like chewy candy, but it does take a long time to dissolve. While it’s dissolving in your mouth, it’s releasing sugar the entire time.
There are harmful bacteria in your mouth that use sugar as their main food source. They then emit an acidic byproduct that eats through the enamel on your teeth. This is what leads to tooth decay and problems with dental cavities. If these problems are left alone, you’ll need services like dental fillings and root canal therapy.
In addition, biting down on hard candy at the wrong time can cause some issues. If it hasn’t dissolved enough or you bite down in the wrong area, it can cause your tooth to crack, chip, or break. If the break is bad enough, it can lead to a dental emergency and the need to get the problem fixed immediately.
2. Sports Drinks
It’s easy to assume that these are better for us than things like soda or energy drinks. However, sports drinks are hiding a lot if you take the time to read the whole label. They often contain as much sugar or even more than those other drinks. They’re also often flavored with citric acid, which contributes to eroding tooth enamel even more.
With this combination, brushing your teeth directly after drinking one can actually harm your teeth. It damages the teeth more due to the acid’s impact on it. Sports drinks also don’t have the benefits that you may think they do. Unless it’s insanely hot or you’re losing a ridiculous amount of sweat, water is just as good or better than sports drinks.
3. Citrus Fruit
Like sports drinks, citrus fruit obviously contains citric acid. This means that it’s eroding your tooth enamel every time you eat it. Even some lemon in your water can contribute to eating away at your enamel. If you’re going to eat citrus fruit, make sure you rinse your mouth out with plain water afterward. This can help get rid of lingering acid.
4. Dried Fruit
Yes, fruit is still a good alternative to candy for your sweet tooth. But you should probably stick to the fresh version. Dried fruit is concentrated with sugar and is often sticky and chewy. This gives it almost the same consistency as chewy candy. Since it’s sugary and easily stuck in places like the crevices of your molars, it’s best to avoid it.
Water is one of the best things for your oral health. The liquid version, that is. Many people have a habit of chewing on ice, which increases how fast your teeth struggle with wear and tear. Biting down on ice can also lead to a dental emergency, just like biting down on hard candy can.
Your Dentist in Virginia Beach, Virginia
It’s important to regularly visit your dentist to make sure your diet isn’t causing problems with your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online.