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The Effects of Food on Your Teeth

The Effects of Food on Your Teeth

Dental health is all about prevention and maintenance. If you can stop tooth decay before it starts, you save a ton of time, energy, and money when you visit your dentist. 

A big part of prevention is avoiding foods that damage your teeth. Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth and it should be avoided. But other foods fall into a gray area….

For example:

Did you know that the high citric acid content in grapefruit can wear down your tooth enamel? But grapefruit is also part of a healthy diet because it’s rich in fiber and vitamin C. 

There are more than a few examples of healthy foods that can damage your teeth and gums.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t eat citrus or any other food. But you should be aware of foods that can have a negative impact on your dental health so you can manage your diet accordingly.

Let’s take a look at some examples of foods to be on the lookout for…

 

1. Sugar/Soda/Juices

As we said, everyone knows sugar is terrible for your teeth. That said, not all sugars are created equally.  

For example, a caramel stays in your mouth for a long time, increasing the damage it does.  Whereas a soda that you drink through a straw doesn’t contact your teeth as much.

Do everything you can to avoid sugars, but especially the sugars that linger in your mouth and promote plaque and acid-producing bacteria.

 

2. Pickles/Vinegar/Red Wine

Pickles, vinegar, and red wine are all delicious and nutritious when eaten in moderation. But, they’re also highly acidic.  

These acids soften your tooth enamel which speeds up tooth decay. They can also stain your teeth and make them look bad, which is a bummer.  

Pro-tip for red wine drinkers:

Brush your teeth beforehand If you plan on drinking wine. Brushing first reduces the amount of plaque that red wine can bond with and make the acid effect worse. 

But don’t brush immediately after drinking red wine!

It’s best to wait 30 minutes after drinking wine to brush your teeth. That way you can avoid brushing the acid from wine into your teeth and further damaging your smile.

 

3. Refined Carbohydrates (Graham crackers, cheap pasta, etc.)

Refined carbohydrates are shown to increase the inflammation response in most people’s immune systems.  

This kind of inflammation is the main player in various chronic diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. Consider limiting how much you eat when it comes to highly processed carbohydrates to reduce your inflammation response.

 

4. Citrus

Like we said in the intro, too much citrus can wreak havoc on your tooth enamel. But not all citrus are created equal.

Lemons, limes, and grapefruit are highly acidic. Oranges are less acidic, but still not great for your teeth.

Consider substituting less-acidic fruits like watermelon to preserve your dental health and prevent tooth decay.

 

Conclusion

While you need to maintain a balanced diet (and indulge in the occasional sweet) to be healthy, you should be aware of how often your teeth are coming into contact with damaging acids and sugars.

In the end, prevention and maintaining your dental health is about balance and maintenance. 

If you want to find out more about what you’re eating and how it impacts your teeth and gums, reach out and schedule an appointment today with one of the best dentists in the U.S. 

The sooner you know, the more healthy your teeth will be.   

 

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