Food that can ruin your teeth.
When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and white, brushing and flossing are crucial, but the food you eat can also have a big impact on your teeth. Getting a filling or sealant can repair or strengthen your teeth, it’s better (and cheaper) to avoid cavities and stains in the first place.
So what is it in food that damages your teeth?
The answer is acid. Whether contained in the foods we eat or converted from sugar by your mouth’s bacteria, acid can erode enamel on your teeth that can lead to cavities and tooth decay. But you can’t just stop eating foods that are naturally sugary and acidic because we need those nutrients. The key to remember is the length of time our teeth are exposed to such foods. Rinsing with water as soon as you can and brushing within 20 minutes is your best defence. Many dentists also recommend chewing a sugar-free gum containing xylitol which helps cancel out acid and produce saliva to rinse your mouth.
The worst foods for your teeth
Below is a list of some of the worst foods for your teeth. You’ll be surprised that some of the “healthiest” foods can actually be doing the most damage.
- Hard Lollies
Lollipops and other hard lollies are not only hard when chewed but contain high levels of sugar which are usually sucked for longer periods of time leading to longer exposure of sugar on your teeth. Go for a soft lolly instead or a sugar-free gum that contains xylitol.
Ice is one of the only things harder than your teeth and can easily crack and break teeth. If you have a habit of chewing ice after you finish your drink – stop.
- Soft Drink
Contains high amounts of both sugar and acid that wreak havoc on your teeth. Use a straw when drinking to avoid contact with your teeth as much as possible and brush soon after consumption.
- Apples and Carrots
These are two of the biggest culprits of cracked teeth so if you already prone to weak teeth avoid eating these whole. Cut them into bit sized pieces before consuming.
- Corn on the Cob
Biting into corn on the cob, like apples and carrots can loosen and even crack filings and sealants and can damage braces and wires of those undergoing orthodontic treatment. But you don’t need to avoid corn on the cob altogether, just cut it off the cob before consuming.
- Pasta Sauce
The enamel on your teeth is particularly susceptible to dark colours including red past sauce which can lead to staining. The acidity in the tomatoes can intensify this. Swish with water during consumption.
- Wine (red and white)
The dark colour of red wine is commonly known for its staining qualities on your teeth, but white wine is generally more acidic leaving your teeth open to even more damage and staining from dark foods.
- Breath Mints
While you may feel minty fresh, sucking a mint is like bathing your teeth in sugar. Go for a sugar-free option instead.
- Dried Fruit
While dried fruit is now seen as a healthy snack, they have a higher concentration of sugar and are much stickier than their fresh counterparts. Eat fresh fruit whenever possible.
- Citrus Fruits
Like dried fruit, citrus is bursting with nutrients but they also contain enamel stripping acids. Adding lemon to your water on occasion is nice, makes plain water more exciting, it can be doing damage to your teeth. Rinse with plenty of water after enjoying these fruits.