6 Worst Foods That Can Harm Oral Health

Posted by Nahid Sekandari Nov 02, 2022

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Over the years, our diet has changed drastically. We have shifted from consuming nutritious meals to consuming processed food items. This change in diet has negatively impacted our health, especially our dental health. Here are some foods that are bad for our oral health. 

  • Sticky foods

Most sticky foods are bad for your dental health, as they cling to your teeth for a prolonged period of time. The longer food stays on your teeth, and the more time bacteria have to produce acids that harm your enamel and gum tissues. The worst types of sticky snacks include taffy, caramels, jelly beans, gummy candy, gummies, lollipops, licorice, dried fruit, fruit roll-ups, sweet tarts, marshmallows, and sugary cereal. Some of these snacks are worse than others, but all should be avoided if possible. If you must indulge in a sticky snack, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible. If you can't brush, try to drink water or chew sugarless gum to help break down the food and stimulate saliva production.

  • Sweets

Candy and sugary snacks are some of the worst foods for your teeth, as they directly coat the teeth with sugar. In addition to being bad for your mouth overall, some sweet treats can also increase the risk of tooth decay. This is due to the fact that bacteria in the mouth consume the sugars and transform them into acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. This can cause cavities to form or even gum disease if left untreated. It's best to avoid or limit your consumption of these sweets as much as possible in order to improve your oral health.

  • Soda

Soft drinks, including soda, have a number of effects that can weaken your enamel over time and cause damage to your teeth. The acid found in soft drinks can not only wear down tooth enamel but also cause discoloration on the surface of teeth, making them look dull and yellow or brown in color. Additionally, consuming a lot of sodas can increase the acidity of the mouth, making your mouth less able to combat the bacteria that cause tooth decay. So, it is best that you limit the amount of soda you drink in order to preserve your oral health.

  • Dried fruits

While many dried fruits are healthy options and can provide fiber, there are some fruits that are too sticky and high in sugar to enjoy in excess. The stickiness of dried fruits will linger in your mouth long after you are finished eating them. This stickiness can cause your teeth to become more prone to cavities. The sugars in dried fruits can also linger on your teeth, leading to enamel erosion over time. If you do enjoy the occasional handful of dried fruit, make sure you drink water and rinse your mouth thoroughly to help wash away the residue and prevent any decay or gum disease from forming.

  • Sports drinks

When athletes engage in intense activities, they sometimes turn to sports drinks to replenish electrolytes lost during exercise. These beverages are often packed with sugar, however, which can damage your teeth and increase your risk of tooth decay. Additionally, the acidity in sports drinks can wear away tooth enamel. If you do choose to drink sports drinks occasionally, be sure to use a straw to keep the liquid from coming into contact with the surface of your teeth. You can also dilute these beverages with water or brush your teeth afterward to help reduce how much sugar is left behind on your teeth.

  • Alcohol

Drinking alcohol causes dehydration, which can weaken the gums and teeth. Dehydration also can lead to bad breath because your mouth produces less saliva when you drink alcohol. Saliva is the body's natural defense against bacteria that can cause cavities. In addition, drinking alcohol can dull your teeth's glossy finish over time. In addition to alcoholic beverages, many mixers contain sugar or acids that can erode enamel and cause tooth decay. Drink water instead to stay hydrated. Water will also neutralize the acids in your mouth that can damage your teeth.

To learn more, please call us at (623) 934-7606 and reach out to our dental practice at 8256 W. Cactus Road, Suite #136, Peoria, AZ 85381. We'll be happy to guide you further.

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