Nowadays, everyone tries their best to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy. People are understanding how vital food consumption habits are when maintaining oral health.
However, are we thoroughly informed of how the different foods we eat and drink every day affects our dental health? Look no further; Dr. Kumarswamy's Clinical team has compiled a list of the top 10 bad foods for your teeth which can help you identify what to avoid to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Beverages like Coffee and Tea are amongst the most significant culprits when harming your teeth. Their consumption leads to extensive discoloration as they contain an ingredient called 'Tannins'. Tannin is a polyphenol that breaks down in the water, leaving a brown and yellow hue behind to stick to your teeth.
Caffeine also causes bad breath as it sticks to the tongue and teeth; this further allows bacteria to grow in the mouth, leading to tooth and enamel erosion and your teeth becoming thin and brittle.
A candy stays longer in the mouth before it completely dissolves; Candies may sometimes last for as long as 5 minutes, even after proper chewing; this provides enough time for the sugar to get absorbed into the gums and teeth.
The worst-case scenarios are when candy particles get stuck between the teeth and are not removed for a long time; this could likely produce cavities as it interacts with the bacteria within the plaque to produce acid, responsible for tooth decay. This happens because candies are mostly a composition of sugar and flavor, which slowly dissolves the enamel-forming cavities.
The effect that Alcoholic drinks have on one's teeth is principally determined by overall acidity. Anything measuring less than 5.5 on the pH scale is recognised as acidic. Such foods and drinks naturally reduce saliva production in the mouth, resulting in a dry mouth. Saliva is essential in shielding our teeth from food and beverages having high acidic concentrations.
Having a dry mouth is never a good idea as saliva also plays a crucial part in washing away food particles post meals. With reduced saliva production, you are deprived of this critical function, making your teeth vulnerable to infections.
Foods & Beverages rich in Citric Acid
Anything edible with high citric acid in it is the principal driver of enamel erosion. Frequent exposures to such foods and beverages may make teeth more susceptible to decay over a period of time. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate sores in the mouth.
It is recommended that you drink plenty of plain water post consuming anything so acidic in nature. Fruits are a great source of proteins & vitamins & their consumption is great for attaining multiple health benefits. Make it a habit to rinse your mouth after having fruits containing high levels of citric acid, which will be good enough to protect your teeth.
Though dried fruits are high in nutrients, they also generally get stuck in the tiny gaps between teeth, and most dried fruits are sticky and are known for damaging your teeth. Sticky foods tend to stick on the teeth longer than ordinary non-sticky ones. If you love having dried fruits, ensure to rinse your mouth with water and floss regularly.
Apart from their sticky nature, dry fruits also have Fermented carbohydrates, which are directly responsible for causing cavities, tooth decay, and bad breath, as found in the study led by British scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Brushing your teeth after the consumption of dry fruits to get rid of the sticky pieces is a great move to prevent bacteria formation.
Potato chips are packed with starch, which matures into sugar and gets trapped in the gaps between the teeth feeding bacteria in the plaque. The acid production from a packet of chips lasts a while after you've gorged on a bag.
Post having anything with such a high level of starch content. It is recommended that you rinse your mouth and floss regularly; potato chip's mushy texture and high starch concentration can cause harm to both your gums and teeth.
White Bread has a similar starch composition as potato chips. White flour starches are simple carbohydrates that can break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars and secrete acids, causing tooth decay.
When consuming white bread, starch content breaks down into sugar in saliva. This changes the bread into a sticky substance that adheres to your gums and teeth, which may cause infections.
Popcorn comes with a thin shell covering the kernel, which contains sharp hulls that generally get stuck between your tooth and gum, providing bacteria with a source of food and encouraging tooth decay.
You must have experienced the pain when accidentally biting on Half-popped popcorn kernels. This is famous for getting its way in between the gaps and causing gum pain and severe toothache.
Carbonated Soft Drinks
It's no secret that carbonated beverages such as soft drinks and sports drinks can breed cavities. What's not known is that the acids found in these drinks harm teeth even more than sugar. Considering diet drinks like Diet Coke/Pepsi or as rebranded, zero coke/Pepsi contain citric and phosphoric acid, which can erode enamel.
If you can't go without having any such carbonated drinks, then you can prefer to have them during a meal. The food can help to neutralize the acid in the drink. You can also have few sips of water after consuming such highly acidic sugary beverages.
Pickles are nothing but a mixture of vinegar and veggies, giving a sour yet tasty result with severe risk to your teeth. Since pickles are highly acidic, there is a need to maintain proper oral hygiene, or else enamel erosion is inevitable.
Another reason why pickles don't get along with teeth is because of the way they are stored. Brine, also known as pickle juice, is highly acidic, indicating that having too many pickles may harm your oral health.
These foods aren't the only bad foods that damage your dental health; consider the guidelines described above as you decide how to maintain your oral hygiene. If you have any questions about diet and your teeth, get in touch with us, and we'll be glad to help you!
Visit Dr. Kumarswamy's Dental Clinic regularly to attain excellent oral hygiene and ensure your teeth last for life.
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