Your Diet Might Be Damaging Your Teeth

The enamel on your teeth is a very strong coating able to resist quite a bit of wear and tear but there are foods that could cause some serious damage.

The Crunch Factor

Ice is definitely top of the list for tooth splitting capabilities along with popcorn and jawbreakers.  You might also want to stay away from hard nuts, full-sized carrots and other super crunchy foods, especially if you have large fillings or crowns. If you’ve been known to grind your teeth or have already been told you have fractures in any teeth, you might want to think twice before reaching into that bag of popcorn.

The Sweet Stuff

A very simple formula will help you understand how a cavity is formed:   

sugar+bacteria= acid                acid+tooth= decay

Since the germs in your mouth need sugar to survive, it’s best to limit the amount of time you have sugar on your teeth.  Candies, dried fruits and other soft sweet snacks tend to create an acid environment for a long period of time.

Eliminating sugar from your diet altogether might not seem realistic, so just work on getting the sugar and acids out of your mouth as quickly as possible with water.

Fast Foods and Starches

Even though they don’t taste sweet, starches begin converting to sugar almost immediately when they hit your saliva.  Germs then have a food in return, making them reproduce at a faster pace.  Soft starchy foods are not dislodged easily and tend to collect around dental work quickly.  Potato chips and pretzels are a good example of a snack that we tend to have lengthy sessions with, prolonging the time your teeth are being coated with debris.

So, if you can’t have crunchy things, sweets, or starches, what’s left?  Every one of us has a different situation and dental history but this bit of advice holds true:  A well rounded diet with lots of fresh veggies and limiting the sugars and starches is the best way to keep your mouth and body in tip top shape.  Swishing with water after meals will also cut down on the acid formed during mealtime.