With the holidays just around the corner, there is one thing that is probably on everyone’s mind… FOOD – and lots of it! Indulging in tasty treats is a highlight to getting together with family for special occasions. Did you know that some of your favourite foods could be harmful to your teeth? Here is a list of the top 10 food and drink items to avoid (except for on those special occasions):
- Citrus fruit – orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit are some examples of citrus fruits that are harmful to your teeth. The citric acid damages the outer protective layer of your teeth, but they are a healthy choice for a snack. It is best to swish or drink a glass of water after eating this type of acidic food.
- Sticky or Hard Candy – toffee, caramel, suckers and candies are high in sugar and the candy can get stuck in hard to clean places in your mouth, causing cavities. It doesn’t take long for the sugars to start to wreak havoc on your pretty smile. Dried fruit can also be bad for your teeth if it contains a lot of added sugars.
- Soda Pop – highly sugary drinks are bad for your teeth but even the diet pops have acid levels that can cause damage. Pop can also cause staining. It is best to stick with water!
- Sports Drinks – check the label next time you grab a sports drink to re-hydrate, you may be surprised that it is full of sugar and acids.
- Wine – the acidity of wine can damage the protective surface of your teeth; as well, red wine can cause staining.
- Crackers/Chips – and other high in starch foods like bread get stuck in between your teeth easily and that starch converts to sugar.
- Coffee/Tea – can cause teeth staining. Also, unless you drink it black, you are adding sugars to your drink. It’s time to switch your double double for a glass of water.
- Pickles – or other foods that use vinegar in the pickling process (such as eggs or beets) are bad for your teeth because the acid in the vinegar can wear away the outer protective surface of your teeth.
- Fruit Juice – acidic and sugary juices can erode the protective layer of your teeth, causing cavities and tooth sensitivity.
- Flavoured Water – just like fruit juice and sports drinks, it is important to check the label. They can be loaded with sugar and acid. Flavoured water can taste delicious, but it should not be consumed with the same frequency as water. Use this as an occasional thirst quencher.
There are things you can do to help after you have consumed one of these 10 things. First, drink lots of water! Alternatively, chewing sugar free gum can help. Brushing and flossing are of course a great idea, but you should be careful not to brush immediately after consuming an acidic food – this could cause further damage to the protective surface of your teeth. Ideally, you should wait 60 minutes after eating or drinking something acidic before you brush. Other than an occasional indulgence, it is best to stick to a healthy diet of fresh fruits and veggies.
Dawson Dental Centres are knowledgeable, caring Toronto dentists in 17 locations across Ontario including Aurora, Waterloo, Guelph, Newmarket and more. We offer General & Cosmetic Dentistry services such as dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces and dental veneers.