Good oral hygiene requires effective brushing and flossing. But good oral hygiene also requires a healthy diet. Many foods, especially sugary foods and drinks can encourage the growth of oral bacteria. Drinking sugary beverages on a regular basis can lead to tooth decay. Here are some foods and drinks that can damage your oral health.
These types of snacks are the worst for your teeth because the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar found in your snack of choice. Bacteria use this sugar to produce acids that break down your protective tooth enamel, causing cavities to form on the surface of your tooth or even in between teeth. A diet high in sugar leads to tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health issues. In severe cases, decay can cause abscesses that lead to serious pain and even tooth loss. Cavities in baby teeth are especially dangerous as they can lead to the misalignment of permanent teeth later in life.
Hard candies and lollipops are some of the worst offenders when it comes to snacking and how terribly they can affect your oral health. These treats are often sticky and hard to remove completely from your teeth which can cause plaque buildup on your teeth. Candy is also full of simple sugars that can feed the bacteria in your mouth, which will cause havoc for your dental health. Additionally, these types of sugary treats are commonly sucked on for long periods of time, which can increase your risk for cavities as the sugars are exposed to your mouth for a longer period of time.
Although soft drinks are a favorite drink for many adults and children alike, the large amounts of sugar in these beverages pose a great risk for tooth decay. Drinking soda regularly over time increases a person’s chances of developing cavities by as much as 80 percent. Even diet sodas contain acids that erode the tooth enamel. Because of this, it is best to avoid drinking any kind of soft drink as much as possible. Sodas that are consumed should be quickly followed by water to wash off the sugar and acid from the teeth. While an occasional soda may not harm the teeth, frequent consumption of these drinks can lead to serious oral health problems in the future.
Coffee and tea
Both coffee and black tea contain caffeine, which inhibits saliva production. Saliva is important in the oral cavity because it rinses away food debris and neutralizes acids produced by plaque bacteria. Without sufficient saliva in the mouth, your teeth are more likely to be susceptible to decay due to increased acidity or sticky film left on the teeth by food particles. Drinking coffee also stains teeth due to the tannins it contains. Tannins can also soften tooth enamel and cause discoloration when consumed frequently.
Alcohol is toxic to the mouth tissues. It causes dehydration by altering your salivation, which is needed for healthy teeth and gums. Saliva helps cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria and food particles. It also neutralizes acids in the mouth and breaks down any food particles left between the teeth.
So think twice before having that extra glass of wine! In addition to harming your mouth, alcohol is also bad for your overall health. It can damage vital organs like the liver, esophagus, and brain. Drinking too much can also cause cancer and lead to depression, memory loss, and weight gain.
If you’re already experiencing symptoms of alcohol addiction, it’s important to get help right away. Talk to your dentist about treatment options. They will help you decide if it’s the right time for medically assisted detox treatment.
Out of all the beverages out there, sports drinks are some of the worst for your teeth and gums. They contain a lot of sugar and can erode your teeth’s enamel, leading to tooth decay. Some brands also have added acids that can break down tooth enamel as well. In addition to sugar, many popular brands of sports drinks also contain artificial colorings and flavorings. These chemicals often stain your teeth, and they’re also not good for your overall health either. They are best to avoid altogether. If you do choose to drink one, make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly afterward.
Citrus fruits and juices
The acids in citrus can cause erosion and discoloration of teeth. It is also highly acidic, which can weaken your enamel. Plus, citrus fruits are sticky and can cling to your teeth throughout the day. Limit the intake of any type of citrus juice or fruit.
West Reno Dental, located in Reno, NV, is equipped with the best dentists and modern amenities that facilitate effective treatment services for patients. Dial (775) 323-4054 and book an appointment with the dentist to learn more about dental services.