When you think of how the food can have an impact on your teeth, you have to consider what happens when you are eating it and what happens after it too. With foods with higher starch and sugar content like bread and pasta, there are a lot of things happening. These are chewy foods that tend to stick to teeth and make way for plaque. With bread and pasta, it contains sugar and flour with a lot of starch in it. Once eaten, these two components break away and cause harm to the teeth. The starch in bread and pasta stay in the mouth leading to a bacteria buildup whereas the sugar in them can accelerate tooth erosion. Brushing your teeth immediately after can help avoid the buildup of plaque and bacteria.
For the last few decades, there is a brand of candy that has become quite popular among children and adults. They have been marketed and sold across the world in large numbers. It is sour candy. Sour candies come in many flavors and shapes, often being tart and sour in taste. This sour taste comes from the presence of acidity in the sour candies, and the same acidity is the number one enemy for your teeth. Your teeth hate acid, and sour candies have a high acidity level, often close to acids like battery acid. This acid slowly erodes teeth enamel making your teeth lose the protective coating and leaving it open to further damage such as discoloration, chipping, and breakage as well. The chewy nature of these candies also makes sure the acid stays in the mouth for a long time making the acid attack last up to 20 minutes. It is good to limit intake or drink water/milk right after to neutralize the effect of acid.
It is common knowledge that alcohol causes a hydration deficit in us. But have you ever stopped to consider how that hydration deficit affects your teeth? Our mouth should not be dry at all. Dry mouth can lead to a lot of hygiene issues, and that is because saliva helps us to process food, helps in digestion, and avoids any food particle from sticking to our teeth and gums. When you consume alcohol, it sucks all the saliva from your mouth leading your teeth and gum open without any protection. Any food consumption thereon does not get processed, digested, and assimilated in our blood well. Make sure you take plenty of water while eating and limit alcohol intake to limit damage to teeth.
Citrus fruits are one of the most recommended fruits from any health-official or physician. They have the essential Vitamin C that protects your body from a horde of ailments. Also, the acid in citrus fruits can help the digestion process. However, the same acid in these fruits can damage your teeth when consumed in excess. We have seen that the acidic environment created by the sour candies can damage our gums and teeth. Similarly, when we eat raw citrus fruits, the acid in them stays in our mouth for a long time and erodes the tooth enamel. Citrus fruits also have sugar content in them, and it can cause plaque buildup. Try using a straw when you drink citrus fruit juice or brushing after 30minutes to avoid enamel damage.
Carbonated drinks and Sports drinks are usually double trouble. For decades now, dentists have been urging people to stop consuming these harmful drinks that hardly do any good to our hygiene and health system. Carbonated drinks have a lot of acidic content and sugar, both harmful to your teeth. The sugar in these drinks increase the acid present in your mouth and attack your tooth enamel. The carbonated nature of these drinks dries out your mouth leading to a loss of saliva. We already know that a dry mouth is highly detrimental to tooth health as food particles stick to teeth and gums without saliva and lead to damage.
Potato chips are an all-around favorite snack. It comes in so many varieties and flavors, there is hardly anyone who doesn’t munch on them. For the health-conscious, there are sweet potato chips, kale chips, and so many other varieties too. You can get them baked as well. But, the common thing in all chips is the starch and the crunch. The crunch especially can be very harmful to your teeth. It puts too much pressure on the teeth leading to enamel cracking in the long term. The starch in all of these chips eventually breaks down into sugars that can lead to the buildup of plaque and cavities as well. Tooth cavities are one of the most dangerous tooth problems to have as they spread fast and require extraction to solve.
When we look at dried fruits, we think they are a natural, good, and conserve option while compared to candies. All the goodness and none of the damage, right? Well, sadly, no. Dried fruits are made by sun-drying or heat drying the fruits to concentrate the sugar and lose all the water. So, the break you get from the hydration factor of fruits to dilute the acids present is gone. Instead, you get a dry, chewy fruit with more concentrated sugar per given quantity. They feel like candies too, so you may end up gorging on them leading to a sugar acidic environment in your mouth. That can cause cavities, irritate your mouth sores, erode the enamel, and tooth discoloration too. The discoloration happens because sometimes artificial colors are added during the drying process.
Chewy food items that have a bit to them such as candies, candied vegetables, fruits, pasta, and dry fruits, etc. have a prolonged impact on the teeth. The pressure needed to chew and break these items is quite hard on our teeth, and also, these invariably break into starch and sugar. The starch and sugar erode the tooth enamel and also cause pits and cavities. These cavities start small and increase in size and volume leading to tooth decay eventually. These chewy items also stick to our teeth and gums. If left unattended or un-flossed, these can lead to plaque buildup, discoloration, and gum problems.
Ice is not intrinsically damaging to your dental health. You can have iced drinks, but chewing on ice or eating ice can be very harmful. First of all, when you chew ice or eat ice like ice cones, you are subjecting a lot of pressure on your teeth and gums. As a rule, hard biting or sharp objects can damage teeth quite easily. Also, ice brings a sudden temperature change inside your mouth that can lead to enamel damage. When you apply a lot of pressure and temperature change on your teeth, the enamel expands and contacts too fast and leads to cracking. That leaves your tooth vulnerable to attack from corrosive acids and exposes your gums to sensitivity related issues as well.
Junk food is like the trifecta of all things that negatively impact our teeth. Junk food is often deep-fried, high on sugar content, contains a lot of starch, and sticky in nature. If consumed in excess at regular intervals, these can have a lasting impact on our dental health. The sugar and acidic environment can erode the tooth enamel and expose our teeth to further damage. The greasy, sticky nature of the food items can mess our dental hygiene leading to plaque buildup.
For a lot of us, a lot of the food we eat is for pleasure. But we also value our health. We have compiled this list for you so that you can be aware of the small tiny explosions happening in your mouth every time you munch on your snack. Being a little cautious can go a long way. Take time to drink water, brush regularly, and floss as advised. Meeting your dentist regularly and having an eye on your teeth (well, figuratively) can help you make sure you have good dental health all the time.