Our food choices affect our oral health. The foods and drinks that you consume can affect your dental health. It is important to choose foods that benefit your teeth. Here are some foods and beverages that can harm our oral health.
The number one enemy of oral health is sugar. The more sugar you consume, the more bacteria forms in the mouth – leading to tooth decay and other oral and overall health issues. In addition to being hard on your teeth, too much sugar raises your risk of diabetes and other health conditions. When consumed in excess, sugars attach themselves to the enamel of your teeth, eventually causing a cavity. If you do consume sweets or other sugary items, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible to prevent them from harming your smile!
Many people like to snack on hard candies or lollipops and think that they are okay for their teeth because the sugar content is low. However, the stickiness of the candy can linger in your mouth for long periods of time and cause bacteria to form and lead to cavities. Even though these foods are sticky, simply rinsing your mouth with water after eating them is not enough to disrupt the bacteria that form in the mouth after eating these sugary snacks. Try to avoid eating these types of sweets whenever possible.
Alcohol can be bad for your oral health for many reasons. It impairs your judgment, so you might not know that you are drinking too much alcohol until it is too late. This can lead to falling into a bad habit of binge drinking on the weekends, which could lead to severe health issues down the road. It also dries out your mouth, which is why it is common to have a dry mouth after drinking alcohol. This can cause bad breath, irritate the gums, and create a condition known as xerostomia which is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is very important to the overall health of your mouth because it washes away bacteria and food particles that lead to decay. A dry mouth is more prone to infection and disease, so it is important to avoid heavy alcohol use if you value your dental health.
Sugary soft drinks are one of the worst things you can consume for your oral health. They contain sugar which feeds the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. The sugar and acid in the soda also wear away the protective enamel on your teeth. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss.
Even diet sodas can be bad for your teeth because they often contain citric acid, which can eat away at your enamel. Plus, the carbonation in soda can wear down the surface layer of the teeth and cause sensitivity.
Switching to water can help to protect your teeth and keep them healthy. If you just can’t stand the taste of plain water, try adding lemon or lime slices to your water for a refreshing beverage that is both delicious and healthy for your teeth and gums. Drinking more water can also help to improve your overall health as well!
If you’d like to learn more, then contact our dental office at (503) 581-2446 today. We’d be happy to help answer any questions that you may have. Get the bright smile you’ve always wanted this winter!