The list of the worst foods for your teeth as you can guess includes SUGAR.
Did you know that also on the list of the worst foods for your teeth, are foods which may seem innocuous. Let me tell you some of the foods which do not make teeth happy.
Even if it comes in its Diet or sugarless form, any type of soft drink is bad for the teeth. It isn’t the sugar content that makes me tell patients to avoid them, it’s because they are acidic by nature.
Phosphoric acid, citric acid, carbonic acid are all acids added to soft drinks in one amount or another.
These acids have the ability to erode enamel, the hardest natural substance in the body.
My thesis explored the link between diabetes and oral health. One of the major foods implicated in rising diabetes rates around the world leading to higher rates of periodontal disease, was sweetened carbonated beverages.
Sadly the consumption has also increased among children and I have seen the devastating impact frequent consumption of these beverages can have on both the deciduous teeth and the erupting adult teeth.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The new ‘nectar’ in the health world, social media is filled with models, fitness trainers and influencers extolling the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar on mornings.
From a dental point of view the acidity of apple cider vinegar makes it highly capable of quickly eroding enamel. It shouldn’t be taken at full strength. Instead it should be used with water as a shot, instead of sipping, to avoid its contact with teeth.
Used by everyone from athletes to college students, the intensive and attractive marketing used by energy drink companies, conveniently forgets to leave out the havoc they wreak on teeth. These are a foe to enamel.
The pH scale ranges from 0 – the most acidic to 14 – the most alkaline; 7 being neutral. Two of the more popular energy drinks register pH’s between 2.7-3.3. The reality is that most people aren’t brushing their teeth after drinking these beverages. This means that the acids in them, are able to continue their action on enamel well after you put down the can.
Unless you’re making your own at home with a sugar-less recipe, crackers are a food which should be avoided. Crackers are a highly refined carbohydrate. For the bacteria in your mouth, the sugar in crackers is easily accessible.
Crackers are normally eaten as snacks. This means that many people don’t consume them as a main meal. There is less probability that we brush our teeth after a snack than after main meals. Without brushing your teeth, these sugars remain in the mouth allowing bacteria to continually feed on them and produce acids which erode the enamel and start the process of dental caries (cavities).
Used as substitutes for other snacks in many weight loss diets, dried fruits have had almost all the water removed, concentrating the natural sugars present. Their sticky texture allows them to adhere to the teeth trapping the sugar on the tooth’s surface.
Why not consume fruits in their fresh version instead? My advice, use nuts and hard crunchy fruits and vegetables as snacks instead. If you can’t give up your dried fruits, make sure to brush and floss your teeth half an hour after you’ve consumed them.