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Is Your Diet Destroying Your Teeth?

Teeth are just as important as the vital organs in our body. Diet and nutrition are both essential to our overall health. We know that certain foods are bad for our bodies, but which foods are bad for our teeth? Is your diet destroying your teeth?

Food and drinks in your diet that may be destroying your teeth:

1. Candy

The stickier the candy, the worse it tends to be for your teeth. Extra-chewy candies – like taffy, caramels – stick on and between your teeth for a long time, allowing bacteria in our mouths to feast leisurely on the deposited sugar. Candies that are chewy, sugary, and acidic – also known as “sour candies” – carry their erosive acid, in addition to the acid produced by the interaction of sugar and bacteria. Hard candy dissolves slowly and saturates your mouth giving bacteria more time to create harmful acid. Not to mention, many hard candies are flavored with citric acid. Hard candies can also chip your teeth, something that brushing or flossing cannot fix.

2. Soda

The sugars contained in soda combine with bacteria in your mouth to form an acid. This acid attacks your teeth. Regular and sugar-free sodas have their acids that attack the teeth as well. Each sip of soda triggers a damaging reaction to your teeth that lasts about 20 minutes. Think about what happens to your teeth if you drink soda all day!

When acid from the soda comes into contact with the tooth enamel, the outermost shielding layer of our teeth, it causes erosion. Erosion significantly reduces the surface hardness of the enamel. In addition to the enamel, soda can harm the next layer, dentin, and sometimes composite fillings. If the tooth enamel is damaged, cavities, or caries, eventually will form. In addition to soda, sports drinks and fruit juices can also damage enamel. Water anyone?

3. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits and juices contain an ample amount of vitamin C and other nutrients which are suitable for the body in several ways, but the teeth. Grapefruit and lemon juice, in particular, are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel over time. Good news for you orange juice advocates – out of the citrus juices, orange juice causes the least amount of enamel erosion.

Orange juice is less acidic, and many orange juice brands found at the store are fortified with teeth-friendly calcium and vitamin D.

4. Wine

Red wine contains substances known as chromogens that produce tooth-discoloring pigments. Red wine also contains tannins which tend to dry out the mouth making the teeth sticky causing the stains to worsen.

Contrary to popular belief, white wine can also stain your teeth. Both red and white wine have erosive acid. The acid will allow food and drinks to infiltrate more deeply.

5. Crackers

Saltines and other crackers contain refined carbohydrates which convert to sugar in the mouth very quickly, providing food for cavity-forming bacteria. Crackers also become mushy when chewed, turning into a paste-like goop that builds up in your molars and lodges between teeth.

If you frequently binge on crackers, you may have cause for concern, but eating them in moderation isn’t likely to cause any long-term problems.

6. Coffee

Drinking coffee can stain your teeth over time. In fact, coffee stains are more persistent than tobacco stains. Coffee-stained teeth are more resistant to toothbrushing and more likely to become discolored again following a bleach treatment.

7. Tea

One would think that tea would be less harsh on your teeth than coffee. In reality, black tea stains your teeth more than coffee. Similiar to red wine, black teas have a high tannin content, promoting stains.

Teas that contain fewer tannins – green tea, white tea, and herbal tea – are less likely to stain your teeth. However, herbal tea has been found to erode dental enamel substantially more than black tea.

Reversing the damage

Fortunately, eating a healthy diet can help to reverse some of the damages caused by these harmful foods. Many foods that are good for our bodies – like vegetables are also good for our teeth.

Per usual, having excellent oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can help to restore your teeth back to a healthy state.

For more information on obtaining that perfect stain-free smile call Implantation Dental Center today at 954-476-0770.

(954) 476-0770