Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to protect your smile, along with practicing daily home care and visiting your dentist in Thunder Bay for regular hygiene visits. There are certain types of food that are particularly damaging to your smile which we recommend limiting or avoiding altogether.
Hard Candy, Sticky Candy, and Chewy Candy
We all know that candy is loaded with sugar, but not all candy is created equal when it comes to the effect it has on your smile. For example, chocolate is less of a threat to your smile than other types of candy because it’s not acidic and it doesn’t stick to your teeth the way other types of candy do. On the other hand, hard candy and sticky candy have a tendency to leave sugar residue on your teeth long after you’re finished eating them. This can break down your enamel and allow cavity-causing bacteria to penetrate your teeth. Sour candy contains high levels of acid which also works to break down your enamel.
Snacking on high sugar foods between meals creates an additional risk. That’s because when you eat a whole meal, it causes your body to release saliva, which helps to wash your smile clean. If you do snack on sugary foods between meals, it’s a good idea to rinse your teeth by drinking a lot of water. Of course, you will also be better off if you choose healthier snacks such as crunchy fruits like apples or celery.
Bread, Chips, and Crackers
A lot of people don’t realize that foods like wheat and potatoes contain a lot of carbohydrates. And when these ingredients are highly processed, they can actually damage your teeth as much as or more than foods containing large amounts of refined sugar like candy. For example, bread, chips, and crackers will create a gooey film that can get stuck on and between your teeth, damaging your enamel and leading to decay.
Parents often provide their kids with dried fruit, believing it’s a healthy snack. Unfortunately, dried fruits are often filled with additional sugar to make them sweeter. They are also very sticky and acidic, and this combination causes them to remain on your teeth as they attack your enamel and allow bacteria to cause cavities.
Sports Drinks and Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated soft drinks are very damaging for your oral health, even when they don’t contain sugar. This is due to the citric acid and phosphoric acid they contain, which extract essential minerals from your enamel. Of course, sodas containing sugar cause even more harm to your smile.
Many people assume sports drinks are good for you because they help you rehydrate and restore your electrolytes during and after a workout. Unfortunately, these drinks contain a considerable amount of sugar and they’re also acidic. As we’ve seen, this combination will break down your enamel and support the bacteria that cause cavities. You can help reduce the damage caused to your smile by sports drinks either by diluting them with water or drinking them through a straw.
Preventative Dentistry in Thunder Bay
At Oasis Family Dental, Dr. Elaine Chow strongly encourages preventative dentistry. We also offer a full array of dental services, including veneers and dental implants. Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chow and find out what we can do for your smile.