You know how the saying goes right?
You are what you eat.
This can clearly be seen by the health of your teeth. There are various foods and drinks that can cause plaque which eventually leads to serious damage to your teeth if not taken care of.
How can you prevent plaque from disfiguring your teeth? well apart from the obvious tasks such as brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush regularly and Flossing, you must get your bad eating habits under control or your teeth will become a lost cause!
Below are the 7 worst foods bad for teeth. I’m not saying you have to completely throw them out the window but use them sparingly or on special occasions.
Lets begin shall we.
1. Hard Candy
If this is surprising to you then i dont know which planet you are living on. Sour candy is particularly bad because it contains various different acids that are dangerous for your teeth, add to the fact that they are chewy and will stick to teeth for longer eventually causing tooth decay in the long term.
You could simply consume a piece of dark chocolate which can be chewed quickly and then washed away by a glass of water or my personal favourite: milk. I love milk because it contains calcium and we all know the benefits of this mineral on our bone and tooth health.
2. Carbonated beverages
I absolutely love Coca Cola, it is my favourite soda drink but even i know the damages it can cause to my teeth. I really do think that my time as a youngster consuming so much soda removed some of the enamel from one of my top tooth. But i am much more aware of the dangers and only consume sugary drinks on special occasions now.
Carbonated drinks are so bad that a study even compared it to taking illegal drugs such as crack cocaine.
The reason they are so bad is due to the fact that it enables plaque to produce more acid to attack the enamel. Think of it as an acid attack but rather than someone else throwing it on you, you are actually self harming and throwing it in your mouth. There’s no need for it. It doesn’t stop there either, as carbonated drinks will stain your teeth.
The main premise of soda drinks is that they taste good. What you can do is flavour your water by adding your favourite slices of fruit to it, lemons, oranges, cucumbers, anything that takes your fancy really.
Green tea and dark coffee are other substitutes that are much more easy on your teeth but be careful not to overdo it as they will stain your teeth overtime.
3. Ice Cubes
At first i thought this was a load of rubbish as ice is made up of water so what possible harm can it do to our teeth. That’s true but in this context, we are talking about chewing on the ice cubes. This can damage enamel and worse yet, you might need emergency dental treatment due to broken, chipped or loosened crowns.
The answer is really simple: DONT CHEW ON ICE CUBES!
You can use them to chill your beverages, but remove them once they have reached the desired temperature or alternatively drink already chilled drinks and plan ahead. If you are having a get together later on in the day, make sure to put all your drinks in the fridge so they are chilled and ready to go.
4. Dried Fruits
You might be assuming that dried fruits are good for us and your thinking is right, so whats the deal?
Many dried fruits are sticky for example, mango’s, apricots, prunes, raisins. These will get stuck and will cling onto teeth and all the little crevices. This results in alot of sugar being left behind which will eventually be consumed by bacteria and turn into plaque.
Once you have eaten the dried fruit, it is essential you go and floss your teeth and brush them to remove any small particles lodged in between.
I bet even before you read this bit you knew what the obvious choice would be: yes it’s fruit but instead of dried, you are better off consuming the fresh version instead. they are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants that are good for you.
But be careful as some fruits are more detrimental than others on your teeth such as….
Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are delicious juicy fruits and contain immense amounts of vitamin c but they also have high amounts of acidity and we all know acid and tooth enamel dont mix. plus they can be pretty bothersome when you have mouth sores.
I would suggest you eat them in moderation and have them after meals to refresh your mouth. If you do have quite a few then rinse your mouth with water afterwards to get rid of excess acid.
6. Potato Chips/Crisps
Potato chips are my favourite go to snacks when i’m a bit peckish, but unfortunately they are 90% starch, which turns into sugar and worse yet, this snack is notorious for getting stuck in between teeth. this leads to particles becoming food for bacteria which worsens plaque.
After you have eaten your bag of chips, go and floss your teeth to get rid of all the particles stuck in your teeth, this will stop plaque from building up to ridiculous levels.
It might be a bit scary initially but there are cooked vegetable chips out there that are much more healthier and contain less starch. Give them a try or you could make your own at home. Just buy your favourite vegetable and slice it into small circular chunks and bake.
I think everyone knows alcohol isn’t the best thing to drink but hey ho, who cares right?
well did you know that alcohol dries out your mouth which will reduce your saliva production drastically. Saliva is essential to keeping your teeth healthy and prevents food from sticking to your teeth and washes away food debris.
All i can really say is drink sensibly and only on special occasions.
There isn’t really a substitute for alcohol but all i will say is drink plenty of water and chew gum to increase saliva production after you have consumed your favourite beverage.
Even better idea: stop drinking alcohol altogether, it’s bad for you!
I hope this article was helpful in some way and i would love to know which foods you think are bad for teeth. You can do so by leaving a comment below.
Thanks again and Keep Smiling :)
A qualified Dentist who holds the BDS, RDS qualification. When she’s not helping patients with their oral health, you will find her on here writing topics on various dental issues. Her deep passion for writing makes her happy and fulfilled.