No doubt you’ve heard that eating too much dessert can expand your waistline. You know that certain kinds of substances are addictive. And it’s no secret that too much cholesterol can cause heart issues. But did you know that certain foods have an effect on your teeth? Here’s a quick list of foods to avoid and those to include in your diet, for the health of your good old teeth.
Pickles. What makes a cucumber into a pickle? Vinegar, which is full of acid—which is harmful to your teeth’s enamel. In a 2014 study, eating pickles more than once a day was associated with an 85% increase in tooth wear. So it’s okay to enjoy these snacks once in a while; just don’t overdo it.
Sticky candy. If you have to chew for a long time, and if you literally can feel the candy sticking to your teeth, you can guess it’s probably not great for you. Chewy candies like taffy and caramels stick to teeth for a long time, giving the bacteria in your mouth a chance to digest the sugar and turn it into acid. Acid then bores holes into your enamel, causing cavities.
Wine. If you’ve ever spilled a glass of red wine on a white tablecloth, imagine a similar effect on your white teeth. Red wine causes staining and darkening of teeth. But even white wine can stain your teeth. Why? The erosive acid in any kind of wine allows stains from other food and drink to penetrate deeper into your teeth.
So we’ve established a couple of foods that aren’t amazing for your teeth. But there are some foods that not only can prevent problems, but they can also even reverse some of the ill effects of the aforementioned foods. Pretty great, right?
Leafy vegetables. These and other high-fiber foods are not only great for your body—they’re great for your teeth, too. The extra time it takes to chew these foods creates extra saliva, which helps wash your teeth clean and gets rid of food particles stuck to your teeth.
Water. Drink your H2O and find that the liquid helps rinse away sugars and acid from your teeth. Not to mention most water has naturally occurring fluoride, which strengthens enamel. So if you have a glass of red wine at dinner, wash it down with a few mouthfuls of water.
Sugar-free gum. This is a great choice to chew after meals, because it generates saliva to help clean out your mouth. Many sugarless gums also contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which reduces bacteria and helps enamel remineralize.
At Nashville Center for Aesthetic Dentistry, we hope this list has helped you gain a greater appreciation for some of the foods you are already eating and how they are helping your oral health. If you have dental concerns including cracked teeth, stained teeth, misshapen teeth, or even if you are just in need of a thorough professional cleaning, we hope you’ll consider us to serve you with general and cosmetic dental services.
Reach us at 615-371-8878. We look forward to making you our next satisfied patient.
-Dr. Dennis J. Wells and Dr. Daniel K. Weese, Nashville Center for Aesthetic Dentistry
Information was used from “Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth,” accessed 02/13/2015.