Some foods, even seemingly healthy foods, can have a negative impact on the overall health of your teeth. Cavities and the erosion of tooth enamel can be avoided with the appropriate dental care, but even those who brush and floss twice a day can leave themselves open to tooth decay by indulging in certain foods.
Sugary Beverages: Pop, Fruit Juices and Sports Drinks
Carbonated drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices have a big dental hazard in common- sugar. Drinks with relatively high sugar contents encase your teeth in a residue that converts to acid which causes tooth decay. The next time you indulged in these drinks, opt for a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
While citrus fruits are a fantastic source of vitamin C, these highly acidic fruits can be detrimental to tooth enamel. Studies have shown lemons and grapefruits pose the greatest risks, while oranges have shown to be less erosive.
Starchy Foods: Soft Breads, Pastries, Potato Chips and Crackers
When it comes to starchy foods, the rule is anything that clumps can cause damage. Refined carbohydrates that get stuck in your teeth have all the time they need to convert to acid and breed cavity causing bacterial.
Hard and Soft Candies and Dried Fruit
Candies of any kind are problematic because of their high sugar content, but hard and soft candies damage your teeth in different ways. Sucking on hard candies creates a highly acidic environment in your mouth, soaking your teeth in erosive material. Chewing on soft candies, like the starchy foods mentioned earlier, allow the fragments that get stuck in the contours of your teeth to grow cavity friendly bacteria. Like chewable candies, dried fruit poses the same problem.
Coffee and Teas
While it is true that both coffee and tea contain a compound called polyphenol that counteracts cavity growing bacteria, there are two downsides to these supposedly teeth friendly drinks. The first is staining. These dark drinks are notorious for staining anything they touch, and your teeth are no exception. The second downside applies to those who take sugar in their coffee and tea. Sugar makes these drinks very sticky which tends to coat the teeth. This stickiness can allow food particles and bacteria to adhere to the tooth.
Alcohol: Red and White Wine
In general, alcohol and other foods that dry out the mouth are best avoided. Consumption of red, and white wine in particular, are beverages that contain compounds that make the teeth more susceptible to deep staining.
Vinegar Laden Foods: Relish, Pickles, Vinaigrettes
It should be obvious by now that acid is bad news for your teeth. Naturally, foods rich in vinegar, if consumed on a regular basis and copious amounts, can wear away tooth enamel.