You brush and floss regularly, as well as make sure that you’re going to regular checkups at your dentist in Northeast Philadelphia. But is there more you can do to make sure your smile stays healthy? Dr. Drew Shulman offers tips on foods you should eliminate if you want to make sure your teeth stay healthy.
1. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is something you may think to reach for as a healthy, sweet snack. However, dried fruit is filled with sugar. It’s also extremely sticky. These two things put together are a recipe for disaster for your teeth.
Sticky foods tend to get stuck in the tops of your molars, in between teeth, and other hard to clean places. Plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth feed off of sugar, producing acidic byproducts. These are what cause tooth decay, leading to cavities, a need for root canal treatment, or even tooth loss.
With stickier foods like dried fruit, bits can be stuck on the teeth for a long time. The longer the sugary substance is on the teeth, the more harmful it is. If you’re unable to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for a long time, it’s especially detrimental to your teeth. Stick to fresh fruit when you’re looking for a sweet snack.
2. Hard Candy
With all of the emphasis on sticky fruit, you’ve probably figured that chewy candy probably isn’t the best bet either. However, hard candy isn’t a safe alternative. Hard candy takes a long time to dissolve, meaning that sugar is constantly being released into your mouth and staying in there.
In addition, if you intentionally or accidentally bite down on the candy before it’s worn down enough, there’s a chance you can break or chip a tooth. Many people also chew the smaller sliver instead of waiting for it to fully dissolve. This means that the rest of that candy is taking its time to dissolve right on your teeth.
Citrus fruits are extremely acidic. Acidic foods slowly erode the enamel on your teeth. The more citrus you’re consuming, the more they’ll eat away at the enamel. If you have mouth sores or any other issues, citrus can aggravate these as well. Citrus fruits, juices, even citrus in your water can contribute. Make sure to watch your citrus intake and that you’re drinking enough plain water after eating or drinking citrus.
4. Chips or Crackers
Since these snacks often don’t contain many added sugars, you may think that they’re safe for your teeth. However, the starches in these snacks break down into sugars as you eat. They’re also notorious for getting stuck in between teeth and hard to eliminate from the mouth completely. Crackers also turn paste-like, leading them to stay in the spaces on top of your molars.
It’s just frozen water, so it should be fine, right? Well, it depends. The habit of crunching on ice is a bad one for your teeth. Though ice usually fractures when you bite it, there’s still a risk of it chipping or cracking your teeth. If it’s a habit that you have for a while, you also get wear and tear from frequently chewing on the ice. Stick to water in its liquid form.
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