We all know that you should brush twice every day and floss once. We know you should visit your dentist regularly. What you may not know is what to do in between those times. There are ways that you can avoid costly dental treatments and the time and effort spent correcting tooth decay.
Sticky or Chewy Candy – to simplify the tooth decay issue, bacteria eat up sugar and make acid. The acidic environment allows more “bad” bacteria to flourish. Their actions demineralize teeth and lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The more frequent the sugar availability the more acid will be produced. These types of candy stick in the teeth and provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner for bacteria.
Soda – you probably saw this one coming. Sodas are loaded with sugar. In addition to numerous reasons to avoid soda for overall health, the sugars are terrible for your teeth. It is also important to note that even diet sodas can be detrimental to your oral health. Containing several types of acids, these drinks can raise the acidity in your mouth and encourage bacterial growth.
Sports Drinks – you may not be aware of this one. A recent study published by the Academy of General Dentistry found a distinct connection between the erosive destruction of tooth enamel and the consumption of sports drinks. This erosion is irreversible and caused by the high levels of acidity in sports drinks. In addition, if you look at the ingredients of these drinks you will find that in many the number one ingredient is sugar.
Citrus Fruits – these can be problematic for your teeth. We are in no way advising that you avoid citrus fruits but you need to be aware that they can be damaging. The general consumption of these fruits is not as much of an issue, however, many people are found to have a habit of sucking on lemons and limes. This causes a distinct irreversible erosion of enamel. Enamel is not a regenerative tissue so it’s conservation is extremely important.
Chips, Crackers, and Other Starch Filled Snack Foods – these foods should be avoided. Think about the times when you have had potato chips as snacks. You probably remember picking these remnants out of your teeth for long periods of time after the snack was over. These snacks leave behind a wonderful meal for bacteria.
Coffee – I know we said top 5 but this is the bonus. Caffeine itself does not have any harmful effects to your teeth. Coffee, however, can harm teeth in a few different ways. First, many Americans sweeten coffee with sugar. This can damage teeth for the reasons discussed above. In addition, coffee can stain the teeth. These stains over time can be stubborn and difficult to remove. For more information regarding teeth stains and whitening, visit our whitening page!
At Orange Park Dentist, Matthew Nawrocki DMD, MS, we are dedicated not only to providing exceptional dental treatment but are also committed to educating the public about different oral health issues. If you would like more information, visit our past blog topics. Feel free to contact us any time for a consultation. We welcome new patients!