Food, we all love it and consume it daily. Whether you enjoy waking up to a full English breakfast, or you are a veggie who enjoys green stuff, food is involved in everything we do. There are however some downsides to the food we consume, and one of the biggest things is the effect it has on our teeth. Some of the most prominent foods in our diets can potentially deter the health of our enamel, further increasing the risk of tooth decay. Tooth decay creeps up on the best of us, even when things seem to be clean and pristine.
Whilst it would not be realistic to tailor our diets to foods that will only support our enamel and healthy teeth, we should still be conscious about how much of the bad foods we are eating. Chances are the foods that are worst for your teeth are likewise worst for your overall health, so reducing them within your diet will have more than a few benefits.
What Is Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is typically a result of built-up plaque and bacteria which sticks to our teeth, producing acids that ultimately break down our natural enamel. If our dental hygiene and our diets are poor, we might experience tooth decay as a result of the lack of care taken. We need to target any weakened enamel that might be susceptible to tooth decay and make sure no further damage is done. We can’t reverse any broken-down enamel, but we can protect what is left by maintaining a good diet and oral hygiene routine.
If you are wondering what foods in your diet might be the cause of some of your dental problems, take a look at the following foods that are known for their damaging properties:
If you are the type of person who loves to crunch on a bowl of ice cubes when you are bored, you are likely causing more damage than good to your dental health. Ice is created with crystals much like our enamel, and when two are forced together one of the two is likely to break. This can lead to cracks and broken down enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and further dental problems. Also, our enamel when weak is likely to experience much more sensitivity which overall makes our oral health much more uncomfortable to manage.
Nuts might be one of your favourite healthy snacks to have, but they can also affect your oral health. Even though nuts contain a lot of healthy nutrients and minerals such as protein, they also have a lot of sugar. Sugar is bad for our enamel as it can increase the risk of acidity in the mouth which is a silent culprit in breaking down the enamel. If you are going to have nuts as a snack, try to go for unprocessed or flavoured versions which reduce the amount of sugar which is involved in the making and packaging process.
We all love a good pre-workout energy drink to get us ready for a long hike or a heavy workout. Unfortunately, these performance drinks are one of the worst things we can have for the health of our teeth. Even if you choose performance drinks that claim to be sugar-free, this does not mean they are acid-free, and these added ingredients are often what boost your energy but also linger in your saliva and produce acids. If you are going to have drinks, have low-liter bottles and have a short version of the drink instead. The swishing around in your mouth of the drink whilst you work out will damage your enamel. Drink this energy shot before your workout, and stick to drinking water throughout your sessions.
I know what you are thinking, how can my favourite crisps be the cause of my tooth decay? Well, the answer is simple, potato snacks have high levels of scratch which will ultimately turn into sugars, which your body then makes into acid. It is these high acidity levels that can lead to tooth decay and plaque build-up. If you want to reduce the impact that your potato snacks will have, make sure to wash everything down with water thoroughly after you are finished. This should not be done with a fizzy drink, stick to water and make sure there are no remains left in your mouth.
Wine Wednesdays are going to have to take a seat on the back bench. Alcohol has been proven to have adverse effects on your oral health, as well as your overall health which most people should have an understanding of. The effects of alcohol leave the mouth feeling dry without saliva. This saliva is important for the health of our teeth and gums, and without it, we are more susceptible to experiencing problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Limit your alcohol intake as much as possible. The occasional drink once a month will not have long-term effects, but if you think about how much you drink when going out every weekend, you are probably initiating problems for your oral and overall health.
Pre-Made Pasta Sauces
Surprisingly, pre-made pasta sauces have also been proven to have really bad effects on our oral health. If you are the type of person who loves the ease of cooking with a pre-made pasta sauce it might be time to keep thighs organic. These sauces contain excessive amounts of sugar and artificial additions which can linger in our mouths and increase the acidic levels. Next time you make pasta try to make your blend of sauce using the original ingredients, we promise it will taste even better!
Now you have an understanding of the foods you need to keep an eye on, you need to make sure you are still maintaining a good oral hygiene routine to avoid further complications. Limit the intake of these foods, but when you do consume them make sure your mouth is properly washed out with water, or even better given a proper clean to remove any food particles that can develop into high levels of acidity. If you have already started to see signs of tooth decay, the best option would be to visit the dentist to see the extent of the problem. They may be able to offer you cosmetic dental treatments to limit the impact of the damage.