While brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly are all important parts of your oral health, your diet plays a bigger part than you may realize. Dr. Raymond Ribitch of Mid Michigan Smiles, a dentist in Mt. Pleasant, MI, highlights some foods you should avoid or minimize in your diet.
1. Hard Candy
Many of us already know that chewy candy is bad and gets stuck in your teeth. But hard candy isn’t a suitable replacement. It releases sugar into your mouth the entire time it’s being dissolved. Harmful oral bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing an acidic byproduct in your mouth. This eats through your dental enamel, causing tooth decay and other problems.
Hard candy also can be a problem if you bite down at the wrong angle or when it hasn’t dissolved enough yet. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a cosmetic chip or crack. If it’s something more, this can lead to a dental emergency. You don’t want to have to rush to the dentist office to fix a broken tooth.
2. Dried Fruit
Fruit is a good solution for your sweet tooth but stick to the fresh variety. The consistency of dried fruit is usually sticky and chewy. It also loses nutrients and becomes more concentrated with sugar throughout the drying process. By the time all of these drawbacks are considered, it isn’t much better than eating chewy candy.
3. Sports Drinks
You may reach for sports drinks as a healthier substitute for soda and energy drinks. But when you look at the nutritional label, the sugar content is similar to those drinks. Sports drinks are usually flavored with citric acid as well. With a high sugar content combined with acid, it makes for a very harmful recipe for your teeth.
Water is one of the best things you can consume for your teeth. But it’s important to stick to the liquid form. Chewing ice can be a habit that causes more wear and tear on your teeth. Ice also has the same issue as hard candy. If you don’t wait for ice to dissolve enough or bite down at the wrong angle, emergency dentistry may be in your future.
5. Chips and Crackers
You may think that salty snacks are safer than sweet ones. But chips and crackers are both made up of starches that break down into sugars. Broken bits of chips are easily stuck between teeth and crackers turn into a paste that lays in the crevices of molars. If you’re going to be gorging on these snacks, make sure you rinse your mouth out with some water afterward.
Visit Your Mt. Pleasant, Michigan Dentist
We can help you make sure your diet isn’t compromising your oral health. Call us or schedule an appointment online