By now, most people are familiar with how food and drink can impact oral hygiene. There are the common things like avoiding too much coffee and tea to prevent staining or avoiding onions and garlic that can wreck your breath, but it goes much beyond that.
We’re taught from an earlier age that eating a lot of candy or chocolate and drinking sugary soda and juices can lead to cavities. We learn to either avoid them in excess or be sure to clean thoroughly after consuming. There are a lot of foods that people are surprised that could be hurting their teeth more than they thought. Here are the top five foods you will want to be sure to clean your teeth soon after eating.
Fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes can be great for tasty snacks or juices. Plus they have several health benefits including all the Vitamin C they pack. The citric acid in these fruits, however, wears away your tooth enamel which makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay. If you have any sores in your mouth, the acidity can irritate them and slow healing.
Whether as part of a trail mix or a standalone treat, dried fruit often ranks high as a healthy alternative for snackers. While this is true, dried varieties of many fruits such as prunes, raisins, or apricots are very sticky. They can get caught in your teeth and will cling to crevices between teeth and gums, leaving behind high levels of damaging sugar.
Continuing along the line of snacks, many people love grabbing a bag of their favorite chips for a quick snack throughout the day. Chips are loaded with starch, and their crunchy nature means that starch can get trapped just about everywhere in your teeth. This trapped starch breaks down into sugar, and acid production from the chips can linger, both of which are troublesome.
Bread is another starchy food choice, so be mindful when you’re walking the bakery section of the grocery store. Much like potato chips, the starch from bread breaks down into sugars that can lead to cavities. If you’re shopping for bread, less refined varieties like whole wheat have less added sugar, but you’ll still want to brush your teeth after eating them.
We already covered and know that all varieties of candy and chocolate can be bad news for your teeth, but sour candies may be one of the worst culprits. They typically have more acids and sugars than normal candy and have the same negative impact as dried fruit. If you have to satisfy your sweet tooth, reach for something easier to wash away or plan to brush quickly.
There are many more foods that can be hurting your oral hygiene more than you previously thought, so it’s always good to pay attention to labels to see what types of starches, sugars, and acids you’re consuming. For more professional insight, bring up your diet at your next dentist appointment or schedule a visit with our team!