With the busy, chaotic lives so many of us lead today, eating healthy becomes hard work for most of us. When it comes to keeping your smile healthy, though, there are ten foods you can eat less of that will keep you, and your dentist, happy for a very long time.
There are three basics to look for in your food which can help you easily determine if it is a smart choice. If your food has all three of these, brush immediately after you eat it or, even better, avoid it all together:
• How long it takes to dissolve.
• The acid/sugar content.
Sticky foods: Foods which are sticky, such as peanut butter and gummy candies are delicious but bad for your teeth. It isn’t just because of all the sugar they contain either. Since these foods do not get washed away easily with saliva, they will stay put until you brush or wash them away. Sticky foods build up plaque and increase your risk of getting periodontal disease (For more information visit http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/periodontics-gum-disease/).This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice PB&J, just brush soon after. If you can’t brush, rinse thoroughly with water and brush as soon as you can.
Hard Candies: Even the sugar-free kind put you at risk for broken teeth. The types that are full of sugar slowly dissolve that sugar over your teeth, creating a never-ending buffet for bacteria. If you insist on eating hard candy, at least avoid crunching it. This is the #1 cause of dental emergencies around the country.
Sports Drinks: Just because it has the word “sport” in the name do not assume it is safe for your teeth. The goal of sports drinks is to give you energy. Sugar is the main source of energy in most of these drinks and it will linger in your mouth long after your drink is gone. They can be helpful for athletes, but most physicians agree they are not necessary. I recommend looking for a low sugar version or consuming water instead.
Alcohol: I am not saying you should not enjoy an occasional drink, but those who heavily consume alcoholic beverages develop dry mouth and general dehydration as a result. If you drink in excess you can experience premature tooth decay and become prone to infections. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to drink less, heavy alcohol consumption puts you at a higher risk for developing mouth cancer (See more effects of alcohol at http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/oral-surgery-wisdom-teeth/).
Pickled Anything: The pickling process involves vinegar and, usually, large amounts of sugar as well. The acidic nature of ketchup, pickles, and pickled veggies is really bad for your enamel. Basically, it is like submerging your teeth in an acid bath. Salt and vinegar chips, while unbelievably addictive, chafe your teeth and make them vulnerable to staining. For information on counteracting the effects of staining please visit: http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/.
If you lack the willpower or desire to avoid your favorite foods at least consume sugary foods with your meals when saliva production is the strongest. You can also drink plenty of water, limit snacking in-between meals, and brush your teeth twice a day.
Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai (a well-respected Miami dentist who has earned the trust of his patients for their dental care needs). A dental check-up every six months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.
Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015