7 Types of Food That Are Bad For Your Teeth25 May 2022
Many foods and drinks can cause build-up of plaque, cavities or break down your teeth’s enamel. But do you know which ones? Read below to see what eating and drinking habits might be affecting your teeth.
1) Sweets and Sugary Treats
Perhaps the most obvious to do damage to your teeth, candy can have a multitude of nasty effects on your teeth. Sour candies in particular, these contain a lot of acids that break down your enamel. Harder sweets such as gobstoppers can do damage by chipping or cracking your teeth, which may lead to them needing to be removed. Whilst for dietary reasons we are hesitant to recommend it, chocolate might prove a better alternative. It’s always best to have a glass of water to remove as much sugar residue from the mouth as possible.
2) Starchy foods
Bread. Crisps. Anything starchy. When starch enters your mouth, your saliva breaks down the starch into sugar which clings to your teeth and can also rot away your enamel. If you enjoy the taste of bread, crisps or other high level of starch products you can find an alternative by consuming more whole wheat breads or grains, anything with less possible sugar content.
Aside from the obvious benefits to your health, we recommend that if you are going to enjoy an alcoholic drink that you do so in moderation, alcoholic drinks can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth produces. Having a dry mouth means that if you eat whilst your saliva production has been reduced, you are less able to break down foods which will lead to them sticking to your teeth. Red wine in particular has been proven to be a reducing influence on the amount of saliva that you produce.
4) Carbonated and sugary drinks
For the same reasons as sweets, carbonated and sugary drinks contain high levels of acidity which can break down your enamel, eventually leading to tooth decay, and in worst case instances the outbreak of gingivitis. If you are going to continue consuming carbonated or sugary drinks, you can alleviate the damage to your teeth by rinsing your mouth with water immediately afterwards.
Ice can similarly reduce your enamel, making your teeth more sensitive and exposed to sugary or starchy foods. Chewing ice blocks however can be much more serious. Due to their tough exterior, chewing ice can chip, crack or break your teeth, even loosening crown teeth.
6) Citrus foods and drinks
To clarify here, as Citrus foods and drinks can be incredibly helpful not only to your lifestyle and eating habits as well as your teeth, this is in reference to particular types of citrus foods, for example citrus foods found in tin cans, orange juice in concentrate bottles etc. These contain high levels of acid and sugar. Again, you can alleviate the damage done to your teeth by washing out with water afterwards. Controversially whilst apple cider vinegar is known for its health benefits, the acidity it contains can significantly reduce your enamel.
7) Sticky/Dried fruits and vegetables
Pickles, figs, prunes, vegetables or sauces containing fruits and vegetables that is not cooked from fresh. Dried fruits in particular contain high levels of sugar which aid in preserving them for shelf life. Sauces can include anything from pre-made curry sauces, sweet and sour sauces, pasta or bolognaise sauce.
So what foods help?
Calcium rich foods
Foods that strengthen the integrity of your teeth and its enamel. Low fat or fat free yoghurts, cheese and milk are the obvious sources for calcium, but did you know you can also consume foods and drinks such as fortified soy milk, salmon, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach? All are rich in calcium, and can strengthen your teeth through the need to chew.
Making a conscious choice to look after your teeth can nicely coincide with consuming protein rich phosphorus foods such as eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, nuts and beans, meaning no matter what your ethical choices surrounding foods, there are foods with high protein levels that take care of your oral hygiene.
Didn’t we just criticise Vitamin C foods? Yes, but the right types, fresh sources of Vitamin C such as citrus fruits, oranges, limes, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes and spinach are all good to consume. Their chewy nature also helps to retain teeth strength and integrity.
If your teeth have been affected by lifestyle eating choices, fear not! We have many oral solutions available to restore the strength and integrity of your teeth. Find out more here.