Your diet plays a pretty big part of your oral health. Even if you’re brushing and flossing regularly, some of the things you eat may still be messing up your teeth and gums. Dr. Kush Patel of Craft Smiles Dental, a dentist in Fullerton, CA, describes some foods you should try to avoid for the benefit of your oral health.
1. Hard Candy
You’ve probably learned that chewy candy is something you should avoid. But hard candy isn’t a good substitute for your sweet tooth. While hard candy doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, it releases sugar into your mouth the whole time it’s dissolving. Harmful oral bacteria feed on this sugar and emit an acidic byproduct into your mouth, causing tooth decay. This happens for an extended amount of time.
In addition, if you bite down on hard candy in the wrong place or before it’s dissolved far enough, you’re at risk for harming your teeth. You can break, crack, or chip a tooth, and it can be severe. If this happens, call us for emergency dentistry. A severe break can be painful and expose parts of your tooth that need to be covered to avoid infection.
2. Chips and Crackers
You may not see a lot of sugars listed in the nutrition facts on packages of chips and crackers. However, they’re both starches, which break down into sugars as you’re eating them. Chip fragments often get stuck between your teeth and crackers turn into a paste when they’re chewed, sticking in the crevices of your molars. If you need a salty snack, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after you’re done to eliminate the harm.
3. Dried Fruit
Fruit is typically a good substitute for other sweet snacks. But you want to make sure you stick to fresh fruit. Dried fruit is more concentrated with sugar and often has a chewy, sticky texture. This combination makes it more like chewy candy than fruit. Meanwhile, fresh fruit, particularly things like apples that have a fibrous texture and require a lot of chewing, can actually help clean your teeth while you eat them.
4. Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruit is another seemingly healthy food to be cautious of. It combines some sugars with citric acid, increasing the rate of enamel eroding from your teeth. Even having a lemon or lime in your water can impact the enamel on your teeth. If you’re going to consume citrus fruit, rinse your mouth out with water after. Make sure you avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes, as this can make things worse with the acid.
Depending on what alcohol you’re drinking, it can have a higher sugar content than you may realize. Alcohol, particularly when consumed in large amounts, also dries out your mouth. You need a decent amount of saliva in your mouth to help rinse bacteria and food particles from your smile. Dry mouth and dehydration can put you at a higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
Your Dentist in Fullerton, California
In addition to watching your diet, you want to make sure you’re seeing your dentist regularly to make sure your smile is staying on the right track. Call us or schedule an appointment online!