Your diet impacts your oral health more than you may realize. Certain foods and beverages can harm your oral health more than others. Dr. Frank Henrich of Henrich Dental, a dentist in Tulsa, OK, discusses five foods you should steer clear of to keep your oral health in good shape.
1. Hard Candy
You’re probably aware that chewy candy should be avoided. It’s sweet and sticky, getting wedged between your teeth and in any oral appliances in your mouth. But hard candy isn’t a good substitute. As it dissolved, it’s constantly releasing sugar into your mouth. Harmful oral bacteria consume it and emit an acidic byproduct. This is what leads to tooth decay and needing things like dental fillings.
In addition, hard candy contains some other issues. If you bite down on it before it’s dissolved enough or at the wrong angle, you can crack or chip your tooth. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a small cosmetic chip. However, if it’s a serious break, you’ll need to come in for emergency dentistry. If the dental pulp is exposed, it’s crucial to get help right away.
2. Sports Drinks
People usually turn to sports drinks for workouts or as a healthier substitute with less sugar than soda or energy drinks. However, if you read the nutrition label, you’ll find that they have as much or more sugar than those other drinks. Many sports drinks are also flavored with citric acid. This combination can erode the enamel on your teeth very quickly if you drink these regularly.
3. Dried Fruit
Fruit can often be a good substitute for candy if you have a sweet tooth. But you want to stick to the fresh kind. Dried fruit is concentrated with sugar and can lose some of its nutritional value during the drying process. It also usually ends up with a similar consistency to chewy candy. With it being sticky and full of sugar, dried fruit doesn’t end up much better than chewy candy.
Water is one of the best things for your oral health. It helps prevent dry mouth and rinses food particles and sugar from your teeth. In its frozen form, though, it can cause problems. If you chew ice as a regular habit it increases the wear and tear on your teeth. Like hard candy, you may also bite down on the ice at the wrong angle, causing a dental emergency.
5. Crackers and Chips
While you may not see a ton of sugars listed on the label, these are both made of starches. When you chew and digest them, they break down into sugars. Chips often get stuck between teeth and crackers form a paste that gets into the crevices of your molars. If you’re going to be snacking on these salty items, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after.
Preventative Care at Your Tulsa, Oklahoma Dentist
It’s important to keep up with regular dental visits to make sure your diet isn’t causing harm to your teeth. Call us or schedule an appointment online.