Today, we want to share a secret: most of the work to achieve a healthy smile comes from you, not your dentist! By now, most people know that oral hygiene at home is important: brush your teeth twice daily, and floss each day to keep your pearly whites healthy and limit your risk for cavities. However, our patients sometimes overlook another key to a healthy smile: your diet. To help you make teeth-friendly choices, we’ve put together this list of five foods to avoid for a healthy smile.
1. Sticky Candy
We’re starting with sticky candy because it’s a no-brainer. You might already know that sweets are generally bad for your teeth — the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and turn it into acid that wears away on teeth. However, not all sweets are created equal. Sticky candies are especially bad because they are full of refined sugar and cling to your teeth. Basically, they’re a feast for oral bacteria!
Bread is less obvious, but should still be consumed in moderation. When you chew bread, enzymes in your saliva break down the starches into sugar. Much like sticky candy, bread sticks to your teeth and can increase your risk for cavities. If you are craving starchy carbs, reach for less-refined options like whole wheat.
You probably know that consuming alcohol doesn’t qualify as healthy, but you might not realize its impact on your smile. Not only does alcohol contain tons of sugar, it can also dry out your mouth. With no saliva to wash food particles away, a dry mouth is a breeding ground for cavity-causing oral bacteria.
4. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit might seem like a healthy snack, but it could be secretly damaging your teeth. As you chew dried fruit, it sticks to your teeth. Factor in the high sugar content, and you’ve got yourself a cavity risk waiting to happen.
If it seems like there’s no way frozen water could damage your teeth, think again. At Edgewater Dental Arts, we’ve had several patients who chipped or cracked their teeth while chewing on ice. Even if nothing that drastic happens, chewing on ice damages your tooth enamel. Protect your teeth and stick to using ice to chill your beverages.
Avoid these five foods, and you’re well on your way to a healthy smile. To ask our team questions or to schedule your next appointment, call us today!