The Top Foods and Drinks to Avoid for Healthy Teeth

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super foods for teethWe often hear about the importance of quality oral hygiene, attending regular dentist appointments, and identifying dental issues early on. While all of these things are critical if you want to maintain healthy teeth, the foods and drinks you consume also play a significant role in keeping your smile beautiful. Let’s examine some of the foods, drinks, and activities you should avoid if you want to keep your pearly whites looking their best. 

Foods to Avoid for Healthy Teeth

Bread

White bread consists of a ton of starch. As you chew the bread, the starches are broken down more quickly and create sugar. The bread particles are easily mashed into the crevices of the teeth, which can cause cavities. It is suggested to eat wheat bread because it contains less starch. 

Candy

Candy, namely sour candy, can really damage your teeth over time. Not only can the sugar cause more plaque build-up, but the sour candies are almost always tacky in texture and full of acid. You’ll certainly want to take care to brush and floss after eating this type of food. 

Chips

Many of us can’t resist a heaping bowl of chips. However, because chips contain a substantial amount of starch (which later turns to sugar), then you are likely exposing your teeth to plaque-feeding particles. You’ll definitely want to floss thoroughly to ensure that none of the chips got lodged in between your teeth. 

Citrus 

Citrus contains vitamin C, which is excellent for your body. However, you’ll want to eat these fruits sparingly because the acid in them can slowly wear away the enamel on your teeth. You can certainly eat these fruits, but you’ll want to do so occasionally. Make sure you rinse your mouth entirely so that the acid doesn’t linger on your teeth. 

Dried Fruit 

You may want to think twice before biting down on dried fruit. While you may assume this is a healthy snack (and in many ways it is!) the sticky texture can wreak havoc on your teeth. The stickiness can easily get stuck in the crevices of your teeth which could lead to plaque build-up and eventually cavities. If you do happen to indulge in dried fruit, make sure that you brush and floss immediately after you eat it. 

Drinks to Avoid for Healthy Teeth

Alcohol

Alcohol dries out your mouth. Having enough saliva in your mouth is critical to help keep your teeth healthy as it helps to wash away particles that may have collected throughout the day. Not to mention, saliva can help promote faster healing of infection and help prevent food from sticking to your teeth. 

Carbonated Drinks

Dark-colored sodas can easily stain your teeth. Additionally, carbonated drinks can do a number on your teeth’s enamel, and the sugar in them can increase your chances of developing cavities. It is best to avoid these drinks altogether, or at least reduce consumption so that you aren’t exposing your teeth to sugar and acid throughout the day. If you do consume these beverages, make sure you swish with water once you have finished your beverage as this helps remove the acid from the soda off your teeth, rather than letting it sit on your teeth all day.

Ice

Do you love chewing ice? You’ll definitely want to stop this bad habit! Ice not only wears down the enamel but chewing on it can lead to a variety of dental emergencies including chipped and cracked teeth. You should always avoid chewing ice! 

Other Unhealthy Activities that May Damage Teeth

Smoking 

Smoking not only stains your teeth, but it can lead to a variety of dental diseases, or even cause cancer. Smoking is often linked to the cause of missing or damaged teeth

Chewing on Pens

Chewing pens is one of the leading causes of chipped or cracked teeth.

Grinding Teeth

Grinding teeth leads to your teeth being worn down over time. This can significantly impact how you speak or chew your food.

Not Wearing Proper Protection

Mouthguards during active play are absolutely necessary. This step can save your mouth from trauma and help you avoid cracked or missing teeth. 

Brushing Too Hard

While it’s undoubtedly essential to have good oral hygiene, you want to avoid brushing too aggressively as this could aggravate your gums. 

Good Foods for Oral Health

Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that help strengthen your teeth. Some of the more popular choices are cheese, leafy greens, green tea, carrot sticks, and fish. 

Cheese

The casein protein found in cheese and other dairy products is great for building up tooth enamel. 

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens and other foods that are high in fiber require a lot of chewing which can help rid your teeth of food particles and other bacteria. 

Raw Veggies

Raw veggies require a lot of chewing which can help strengthen your teeth. 

Fish

The omega-3’s and high levels of vitamin D can help the body absorb calcium and strengthen teeth. 

Lockhart Dentistry

At Lockhart Dentistry, we are committed to educating our patients about foods and activities to avoid to maintain your healthy smile. We are here to work with you to help you have the best dental care possible. Please reach out to us today to learn more about ways you can protect your teeth and keep your smile looking fabulous! Give us a call today at (317) 449-8050.

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