Keeping up with daily brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly are all important parts of maintaining good oral health and a healthy, attractive smile. But you may not be aware that your diet plays an important role as well. Dr. Paul Karpovich, a dentist in Timonium, MD, highlights five foods you should try to steer clear of to help your oral health.
1. Hard Candy
While you’re probably already aware of how bad sticky candy can be for your teeth, you may not know that hard candy isn’t a suitable alternative either. While it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, hard candy releases sugars into your mouth the entire time it’s dissolving. Harmful oral bacteria feed off of this sugar, emitting an acidic byproduct that causes tooth decay and dental cavities.
But that isn’t the only danger presented by hard candy. If you bite down at the wrong angle or before the candy has dissolved enough, you risk chipping or cracking a tooth, possibly leading to a trip to the emergency dentist. Although a cosmetic chip isn’t something to worry about, a severe break or crack needs to be fixed right away or you risk infection.
2. Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit is a great, healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. But the same cannot be said for the dried variety. Dried fruit is more concentrated with sugar and loses some of its nutrients in the drying process. Also, it often has a consistency that’s similar to that of chewy candy which can pull out fillings or stick between your teeth, aiding tooth decay.. Combine the texture with the added sugar, and dried fruit isn’t much better for your dental health than chewy candy.
3. Sports Drinksdendent
Sports drinks are viewed by man as a healthier alternative to soda and energy drinks. However, if you read the label closely, you’ll notice that they contain as much (or even more) sugar as those other beverages. Citric acid is also commonly used to flavor sports drinks, which causes your tooth enamel to erode faster, making it easier for bacteria to cause tooth decay..
4. Chips and Crackers
Salty snacks won’t usually show a lot of sugar in the nutrition label. But since they’re starch-based, they break down into sugars as they’re being chewed and digested. Additionally, chip pieces tend to get stuck between teeth, while crackers form a kind of paste that gets stuck in the crevices of molars. If you’re going to snack on these, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water afterward.
Water is one of the best things for your oral and overall health…but only when it’s in liquid form. Chewing ice is a common habit. If you’re chewing it regularly, it increases how quickly your teeth wear down. It also poses the same danger as hard candy wherein, if you bite down at the wrong angle or before it’s dissolved enough, a dental emergency may result.
Timonium, MD Dental Care
Keep up your oral hygiene and health with regular visits to Dr. Karpovich. Call us at (410) 221-3085 or schedule an appointment with us online today.