Which Food and Drinks Should You Avoid to Improve Your Oral Health? Everyone knows that certain food and drinks can be bad for your general health and wellbeing but did you know that what you eat and drink can affect your oral health too?
There is plenty of evidence which proves how bad sugar is for your teeth. Problems can arise when you consume food and drink containing hidden sugars. Other ingredients in food and drink can cause equal devastation to teeth and gums including decay, tartar and cavities. Acidic foods and drinks along with wine, tea, coffee and smoking all play a part in ruining oral health by causing weakened enamel and staining of the teeth.
Read this guide from the experts at Holly House Dental for ideas on what to avoid and how you can help keep your mouth in perfect health.
Sweets and Chocolate
These are at the top of the list when it comes to enamel-destroying, decay-causing sugar content. Even so-called sour sweets still contain a high level of sugar plus certain acids which can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel. Hard or boiled sweets could damage teeth and gums as you crunch them so these are best avoided as much as possible.
Tea and Coffee
Tea and coffee both contain tannins which are the elements which stain teeth. If you drink a lot of tea and coffee this can, over time erode the enamel. Both these are also a cause of bad breath so if possible, brush your teeth afterwards.
Carbonated and Sports Drinks
Sports drinks can contain up to 13 or more spoonfuls of sugar in order to give the energy boost required but this is also what makes them so bad for your teeth. These, along with carbonated drinks such as soda, often contain citric acid which, along with natural bacteria in your mouth contributes towards tooth decay.
Drinking alcohol eventually leads to dehydration of the mouth; this is because alcohol is a natural diuretic and hence the reason why you get a headache along with a dry mouth. When your mouth is dry you can’t efficiently flush away any damaging food particles. Red wine, in particular, is also well known for staining teeth. The best thing is to drink in moderation and drink water afterwards.
Citric Fruits and Fruit Juices
Although these should definitely make up a good part of your daily diet they can, unfortunately, have a corrosive effect on your teeth. Oranges, lemons and grapefruits, in particular, contain high levels of acid which can erode tooth enamel and lead to decay when large quantities are consumed. To avoid this you should where possible drink fruit juices through a straw and either rinse afterwards with water or brush your teeth.
These can be bad for the same reasons as fresh fruit with an added danger in that they can stick to the teeth and become stuck in gaps or cavities. They generally have a very high sugar content so after eating these always brush your teeth or flush out any particles with water.
This is bad for you on so many levels but often the first area to show damage is your teeth and mouth. Smoking causes staining, bad breath and loss of taste and smell. It can cause a build-up of plaque and tartar which if left untreated can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Ultimately, smoking puts you at an increased risk of oral cancer.
It’s very important that you keep regular check-up appointments with your dentist who can help to manage, monitor and maintain your oral health and who can spot and treat problems if they arise.
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