Healthy teeth are the foundation of oral health. The things you eat get stuck to the teeth, between the teeth and below the gum line and will affect your healthy smile. The sugar in food combines with bacteria that occurs naturally in your mouth creating plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that coats the teeth. The acids in the plaque eat away the enamel of your teeth. Plaque that is left on the teeth hardens and becomes tartar deposits above and below the gum line. Tartar is harder to remove and creates an environment where gum disease can become a problem. So how do we protect our teeth from the “goblins” that attack our healthy smiles? By avoiding foods that promote decay. The following is a list of some of the worst foods for dental and periodontal health but certainly not all-inclusive.
Sugary Candies & Sweets:
Hard candy – sucking them slowly allows the sugar and saliva mixture plenty of time to attach your teeth while those who like to bite and chew will end up with the candy stuck to the teeth, not to mention the risk of breaking a tooth on the hard candy!
Chewy candy – this includes caramels, taffy, nougat, and those chocolates we love. And if you like your chocolate with wine…that’s a double duty goblin!
Cookies and cakes – sugar is sugar and even if Grandma made them from scratch, these sugary treats are not good news for the teeth and gums.
Starchy, refined carbs:
Chips -these salty snacks are made from potatoes, corn and other refined carbohydrates that turn to sugar, and we know what that means to your teeth. In addition to turning to sugar, these foods tend to become sticky and stay around in your mouth long enough to do their damage.
Pasta, rice, potatoes – white foods are almost all carbs and all carbs turn to sugar when they start to break down in your mouth. The sticky ones stay in your mouth longer so beware.
Soda or pop (depending on where you grew up) is one of the most damaging food items for your teeth. Sugary soda is a favorite food for the kids which is very bad for their developing teeth. Sodas aren’t the only liquid goblins.
Fruit juices- contain sugar and acids that attack the teeth.
Sugared Coffee & Tea- if you love sugar in coffee and tea, it is a hidden danger to your teeth and gums.
Citrus, acidy foods:–
Lemons and limes - These are particularly high in acid but all citrus fruits are highly acidic and can damage your tooth enamel. And if you love lemon in your water, be aware.
Pickles and Vinegar-based foods: Other acidic foods include pickles and vinegar-based foods.
Of course, any of these food items can be consumed safely in moderation. Brushing your teeth after you eat, using mouth wash or rinse, and just drinking lots of clear water can help clear your mouth of damaging sugars, acids, and bacteria. And of course, don’t miss your regular cleanings and periodontal therapy treatments, especially if you have already started having issues.
Articles provided by Dr. Hameroff, staff, and marketing team members. Articles are intended to bring our patients and friends relevant information regarding dental health.
Periodontal Therapy Center
Dr Jeffrey Hameroff, DDS
7320 Forest Oaks Blvd.
Spring Hill, FL 34606