Everybody loves to eat. Food of all sorts is one of the greatest delicacies of life. In fact, the word “foodies” recently emerged as a term describing people who love to eat and try different foods. One of the main purposes of our teeth is to give us the ability to chew and grind food. For that reason, taking care of them is absolutely essential to keep enjoying that food. All food affect the teeth in some way. In addition, it is through proper oral hygiene that we can help our teeth stay healthy and strong. However, some foods are deceptively more harmful to the teeth than others. In this article, we aim to identify 3 common foods that can harm dental health.
How All Food Affects the Teeth
Our mouths are very delicate environments. They comprise many structures and chemicals, including the teeth, gums, bones, and muscles. One of the main components of the oral environment is saliva. It’s responsible for keeping our mouths in a neutral state rather than acidic or alkaline.
When we eat – any food – the acidity in our mouths rises, creating a medium where bacteria can thrive. The bacteria use these acids to create toxins that start the harmful processes in the mouth, whether that’s decay, gum disease, or otherwise.
This is why cleaning our mouths frequently through rinsing with water can be detrimental to our oral health.
3 Common Foods That Can Harm Dental Health
Having learned how all foods can affect the oral environment, some foods tend to be more harmful than others. These include:
1. Bubble Gum
All sweets are harmful since the sugar content contributes to acidity more than others. Gum is even more harmful because not only does it contain a very high sugar content. However, it is also sticky which makes it stay in contact with the teeth longer, prolonging the period of acidity.
The same “sticky” problems that gum has also apply to other sticky foods such as toffees and caramels. Caramel is especially harmful both because of its sugar content and also because of its hard stickiness. Some hard foods such as nuts and hard cheeses are desirable since their nutritional content is high. However, caramel is both hard and sticky, which is a recipe for tooth damage. We’ve even seen patients who had fillings pulled out while eating caramel.
3. Sodas & Fizzy Drinks
Everybody loves a little soda with their meal. However, if they knew how harmful soda can be, they would think twice. Sodas are essentially made of acids. As we’ve explained, acids are the playground of bacteria that can cause decay and also gum disease. If you can’t steer clear of sodas, at least use a straw. The focused stream of a straw may help keep the acids away from the teeth.
And there you have it, 3 common foods that can harm dental health. Examples of these foods are numerous. However, we believe these are the most common since they are present in nearly every household and consumed by nearly everyone. So take care of your teeth! They’re one of your most precious resources.
Ready to take care of your teeth? Click here to make your appointment with one of our experienced local dentists!