Do you believe “you are what you eat”? Well, you are, especially when it comes to your teeth. There are many common foods that cause plaque buildup, which can have serious health effects on your teeth.
Plaque is a bacteria-filled sticky film that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. After you eat a sugary snack or meal, the sugars cause the bacteria to release acids that attack tooth enamel. Plus, plaque that’s left on your teeth for a long time can harden into tartar and lead to gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss. Here are some common foods that are bad for your oral health:
Bread is bad for your teeth
Yes, bread can be bad for your teeth. Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. Bread is a starch – a carbohydrate – and when you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. When the bread becomes a gummy paste-like substance in your mouth, it sticks between your teeth. So, that can cause cavities.
You don’t have to give up on bread completely, instead, choose bread that is less refined and better for your teeth. For example whole wheat bread or bread made from a variety of grains. They’ll contain less added sugar and won’t break down as easily as soft white bread.
Ice is bad for your teeth
Ice is just water so you would think it’s all good right, but it’s not healthy to chew on ice. Chewing on a hard substance can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loose crowns. Ice doesn’t have any sugar, acid, or gummy plaque to worry about. However, ice is for keeping things cool, not for eating.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but chewing ice can still cause damage. Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities, and helps protect teeth from sugar and acid attacks. If tooth enamel is damaged by chewing ice, it can leave a tooth more vulnerable to acid attacks and tooth decay.
Sour candy is bad for your teeth
Most people know candy is unhealthy and bad for your teeth. However, sour candy contains more and different kinds of acids that are tougher on your teeth. Sour candies are very acidic – some with a pH level close to the level of battery acid. Some sour candy is so acidic it can actually burn gums and cheeks. Sour candies might have less sugar than most sweet candies but are among the worst things you can eat in terms of oral health.
Plus, because they’re chewy, they stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you crave sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.
Potato chips are bad for your teeth
Potato chips are so satisfying to eat but it has a lot of starch. The starch becomes sugar that gets trapped on and between the teeth. Potato chips are often coated with sugary spice blends for flavoring which adds to the bacteria in the plaque. Potato chips get stuck in the crevices of our teeth, and bacteria love that, too. Since we often rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts a while.
Dried fruit is bad for your teeth
Dried fruits are generally considered healthy foods, but they can be very harmful to teeth. Dried fruit is simply fruit that has had its water removed to some extent, leaving a shriveled, smaller version of its original form. Compared to fresh fruit, it’s more shelf-stable. However, some forms of dried fruit have sugar added to improve taste or texture. And some dried fruit is encrusted with sugar crystals or chocolate.
Because dried fruits are sticky, it can be hard to remove them from the grooves and pits of teeth. If bits of dried fruit are trapped in for too long, they decay and the sugar turns to acid. This acid feeds bacteria and helps destroy teeth.
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