To take care of your teeth, you know that it is important to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist at least twice a year. But your diet can have more of an impact on your oral health than you may realize. Dr. Glen Wainwright is a dentist in Austin, TX. Below, he highlights some foods that you should limit or avoid to benefit your oral health.
Chewy candy is usually one that people know to avoid. But hard candy does not make a good substitute. Though it does not get stuck in between your teeth, hard candy releases sugar into the mouth the whole time it dissolves. Harmful oral bacteria feed off this and emit an acidic byproduct, causing cavities and other dental problems.
But that is not the only issue with hard candy. If you bite down on hard candy at a certain angle or before it is dissolved enough, you could cause harm to your tooth. Most commonly it will break or crack, often leading to the need for emergency dentistry if it is bad enough. This is not a risk you want to take for your teeth.
Fruit is healthy for your body, but you should stick to the fresh variety. Throughout the drying process, fruits become more concentrated with sugar and lose nutrients. They also take on a chewy, sticky consistency that is similar to chewy candy. With these things factored in, dried fruit does not carry much more benefit than candy.
Many people reach for sports drinks because they think they are a healthier alternative to things like soda and energy drinks. But if you look at the nutrition facts, they are usually also loaded with sugar and use citric acid for flavoring. This sugar and acid combo can erode the tooth enamel quickly. Be sure to at least rinse your mouth out with water if you are going to consume them.
Coffee and Tea
One thing you have probably heard a lot about is that coffee and tea can stain your teeth because they are dark beverages. But this can be easily fixed with teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry services. The worst parts of coffee and tea are the sugars and syrups that are usually in them. Drinking your coffee or tea plain is better for your teeth.
Chips and Crackers
We usually do not worry about salty snacks with our teeth because we do not think about sugar being in them. But these foods are made of starches that break down into sugars as we digest them. Crackers turn into a kind of paste that lays in the crevices of your molars, while chip pieces easily break and get stuck in between teeth. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water if you are consuming salty snacks.
Visit Your Austin, TX Dentist for Regular Checkups
One of the best ways to determine if your diet is harming your oral health is to make sure you are visiting the best Austin, TX dentist regularly for preventative care appointments. Call our office or schedule an appointment online!