Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly are all important parts of keeping your mouth healthy. But your diet may play a bigger part in your oral health than you may realize. Dr. Leah Butler of Butler Family Dentistry, a dentist in Strongsville, OH, recommends a few foods you should avoid or limit to keep your smile healthy.
While chewy candy is always touted as something that should be avoided, hard candy isn’t a good substitute for your sweet tooth. Though it doesn’t get caught in your teeth, it releases sugar into your mouth the entire time it’s dissolving. Harmful oral bacteria feed on this sugar and emit an acidic byproduct that causes problems like tooth decay.
But hard candy can come with other issues as well. If you bite down before the candy is dissolved enough or you come down at the wrong angle, you may end up in our office for emergency dentistry. While a cosmetic chip or crack isn’t a big problem, anything more can cause you a lot of pain and make eating difficult.
Fruit is usually a good option to help with your sweet tooth, but you should probably stick to the fresh kind. Throughout the drying process, the fruit loses nutrients and becomes more concentrated with sugar. The texture becomes chewy and sticky as well. By the time you’re actually eating the dried fruit, it doesn’t have much more value than chewy candy does.
Coffee and Tea
On their own, the worst part about coffee and tea is that they can stain your teeth. This is typically able to be taken care of with teeth whitening. However, the real problem with these beverages is all the sugars and flavor syrups that get added to them. The sugary coffee drink from Starbucks is a lot more harmful to your teeth than a cup of black coffee.
Crackers and Chips
When you’re chowing down on salty snacks, the sugar content probably isn’t something you’re worried about. But both crackers and chips are starches that break down into sugars as they’re being chewed and digested. Chips fracture and pieces get stuck between your teeth, while crackers turn into a paste that lays in the crevices of your molars. Make sure to wash your mouth out with a drink of water afterward.
Water in its liquid form is one of the best things for your oral health. But its solid form can cause issues. Having a habit of chewing on ice increases the rate of wear and tear on your teeth. It can also have the same problem as hard candy. If you bite down at the wrong angle, you can cause a serious break or crack in your tooth.
Getting a Checkup From Your Strongsville, Ohio Dentist
Visit your dentist to make sure that your diet isn’t wreaking havoc on your oral health. Call us or schedule an appointment online.