While diet does not directly affect tooth loss, it can affect other aspects of oral health. Eating a balanced diet packed with vitamins and minerals increases your overall well-being, which improves the health of not only your teeth but also your gums, jaw, and oral tissues. On the other hand, your diet can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria that live in your mouth feed on the sugars that you eat. Eating foods that are high in sugar on a regular basis will result in more bacteria growth, causing more plaque to build up on your teeth. Here is a list of foods and beverages that can harm our oral health.
Sugary foods can be harmful to your dental health because they contain simple carbohydrates. Bacteria feed on sugar, so the more you eat, the more bacteria will flourish in your mouth. This bacteria can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
We recommend limiting your intake of candy, soda, and other sugary foods. However, if you enjoy these foods or cannot resist them, you should be sure to practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash.
Sticky foods stay in the mouth for a long time. This increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Sticky foods cling to teeth, increasing the risk of cavities. They also get stuck in between teeth and along the gum line. This can cause irritation and swelling of the gums. Sticky foods include caramel, gummy candy, hard candy, dried fruit, taffy, jerky, granola, gummy vitamins, and gum.
Hard foods, such as candy, ice, and nuts, can cause dental damage. Hard foods can fracture the teeth or dental restorations, such as dental crowns. Bacteria can grow in the crevices of the teeth, which may lead to cavities.
While crunchy and chewy foods can be good for your oral health, the problem lies with the amount of snacking on these foods. If you have a habit of crunching away on tortilla chips while watching television or eating a whole bag of pretzels, you’re exposing your teeth to a lot of starches and sugars, which ultimately causes tooth decay. If crunchy foods are a part of your regular diet, you may want to consider brushing your teeth after indulging. Otherwise, you may find that you have more cavities.
Alcoholic beverages are some of the worst foods for your oral health. Alcohol can dry out your mouth, which triggers the glands to produce more saliva to moisten your mouth. However, the saliva created is acidic instead of basic. This makes it difficult for your mouth to neutralize the acid. With too much acidity, your enamel can break down, causing cavities. Additionally, the alcohol content in these beverages can erode enamel. This can eventually lead to tooth sensitivity and pain in the teeth.
Citrus fruits are acidic, which can cause tooth erosion. Additionally, they can cause stains, which can leave you self-conscious about your smile. If you do enjoy citrus fruits, make sure to rinse your mouth with water following consumption. In addition to citrus fruits, red wine is another beverage that can cause stains and tooth erosion.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Saunders, DDS & Dr. Brittany Krog, DDS, to learn more about maintaining good oral health. Visit us at 2834 S University Dr, Fargo, ND 58103. Contact us at (701) 293-9886 or visit our website to book an appointment.