If you’re struggling with your oral health, there may be things you should eliminate from your diet to help. Certain foods and drinks are a recipe for dental issues. Dr. Joyce Kim, an experienced dentist in Williamsport, PA, offers foods you should avoid to keep your teeth healthy.
1. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is often considered a top healthy snack that people turn to. While fruit is a great option for healthier eating, sticking to the fresh kind is preferred. Dried fruit contains concentrated amounts of sugar, while also being sticky. This means that sugary fruit is getting stuck to and between your teeth.
The detriment of sugar is that bacteria feed off of it in your mouth. Those bacteria produce acid as a byproduct, eroding the enamel on your teeth and causing them to decay. When sugary foods are getting stuck in hard to reach places, this means it’s sitting on the surface of your teeth and those areas will decay faster.
2. Potato Chips and Crackers
Foods high in starch and refined carbohydrates should be avoided as much as possible. While the amount of sugar noted on the packaging may not be high, these things break down into sugars. Potato chips often get stuck in between teeth. Crackers turn into a paste-like substance that often settles into the crevices on your molars. This means the materials are breaking down into sugars on these areas of your teeth as well.
3. Soda, Energy Drinks, and Sports Drinks
While sports drinks may be the most surprising, all of these sugary substances are bad for your teeth. All three contain very high amounts of sugar. While sports drinks aren’t as acidic, soda and energy drinks contain a lot of acids. The cocktail of sugar and acid means that they’re extremely harmful to the surface of your teeth.
In addition, anything caffeinated can dry out your mouth. Keeping up the production of saliva is important. One of the jobs of saliva is to wash away those bacteria that are harmful to your teeth. If you’re drinking these beverages, make sure you’re partaking in some water afterward to help counteract the effects.
4. Hard Candy
You may already know that sticky candy is a bad idea. However, hard candy is just as bad. Since hard candy takes a long time to dissolve, sugars from the candy are constantly being introduced to your mouth. They’re able to linger there longer, endangering the surface of your teeth.
Hard candy has an additional negative as well. If you try to chew it, it’s an easy way to have a dental emergency. Biting down on the candy in the wrong way can chip or crack your teeth. Chewing it also turns it into a hard, stickier substance. This ends up staying on your teeth for a long time after the candy is finished.
5. Citrus Fruits and Juices
Again, fruits are a healthy snack that you shouldn’t be afraid to reach for. However, it is important to limit your citrus intake. Citrus fruits are highly acidic, which means they’re going to erode the enamel on your teeth. The more this protective layer is worn down, the easier it is for your teeth to decay.
You don’t have to say a hard no to citrus, however. If you’re going to have it, try to make it at mealtime, when you’re eating other foods. Always eat or drink it in moderation, and have a drink of water afterward to rinse some of that acid away.
Your Dentist in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Dr. Joyce Kim
At Loyalsock Family Associates, we’re here to help you with all of your dental health care needs. Regular checkups can ensure that your teeth stay at their best and the foods you eat aren’t harming them. Call us today or schedule an appointment online!