It’s been a while since we’ve shared with you the list of good foods for oral hygiene. Time has come to find out all the bad guys that can ruin your teeth, and make your dental care much more difficult. But first, let’s understand what consequences bad nutrition can have on one’s oral and overall health.
Many foods and drinks produce plaque which seriously damages teeth. It leads to an increased possibility of having gum disease and tooth decay. Besides, a lot of foods are acidic. The latter breaks down tooth enamel and leads to the development of cavities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cavities are the most common chronic disease of 12-19 years old ones: tooth decay is even 4x more common than asthma among teenagers aged 14-17 years. Plus, the study shows that in 10 randomly chosen 20+ aged adults only 1 will possibly be cavity-free: the other 9 will most probably have a tooth-root cavity.
Let’s make it clear once and for all. What you eat matters! It really does. Though every one of us cheats on our diet sometimes, it’s important to understand that junk food should never become everyday nutrition! Plus if you’re actually concerned about your oral hygiene, consider limiting the frequent use of the foods listed below.
It’s a well-known fact that citrus fruits and juices are rich with Vitamin C and many other good nutrients which make them very good in many ways, however, oral hygiene is definitely not one of them. The main reason is the acid they contain in huge quantity․ The latter terribly harms tooth enamel making teeth more vulnerable to decay.
According to a 2008 study, the least harmful citrus juice for one’s teeth is the orange juice, whereas lemon juice had the most severe damage to the coronal segments of a tested tooth.
However, it is still advisable to consume these products due to their huge amount of good aspects. Just eat and drink them in moderation at mealtime and don’t forget to rinse with water afterward.
The stickier the candy, the worse its consequences are on your teeth. So try limiting your consumption of lollipops, caramels or taffy. Extra-chewy candies stick to teeth, stay in between for quite a long time to create a good environment for the bacteria to feast on the deposited sugar.
However, if you can’t imagine your day without candies, at least try to eat those that can easily be cleared out of your mouth afterward: chocolate, for instance. Dark chocolate (70+% cacao) even has some health benefits. So we can surely say that chocolate is not as bad as other sugary candies. You just need to limit yourself.
According to a study held in North West England pickles are the most potential erosive food for a 14-year-old teenager to face tooth wear. Eating them more than once a day increased the odds of tooth wear by nearly 85%.
The main reason is again the acid which is essential for the process of pickling. That’s what makes them salty and sour, and that is exactly what makes them harmful for tooth enamel.
The good news is it’s not very usual to consume that much of pickles, and snacking on them now and then hardly will noticeably damage your teeth.
Every time you want to buy bread while shopping, stop there and think twice. When you bite and chew bread your saliva breaks down the starch into sugar. The bread, transformed into a gummy-like substance, can easily stick in between your teeth which later causes a cavity.
When you really want some bread, it’s better you eat less-refined varieties like whole wheat. They contain less sugar which makes them harder to break down.
Everyone knows that drinking too many sugary sodas can and will create cavities․ According to a 2013 NCBI research drinking large quantities of carbonated soda even damages one’s oral health the same way as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine does.
The thing is that acid which is a big part of carbonated soft drinks is way more harmful than the sugar they contain. So even sugar-free sodas like Diet Coke can erode enamel due to the presence of citric and phosphoric acid, especially if consumed in large doses
In addition to acid, soft drinks enable plaque to grow and attack tooth enamel. So if you sip soda all day, you’re purposely coating your teeth in acid. Plus, it can dry out your mouth because of hindering saliva creation. And finally, sodas can become one of the main reasons for discolored teeth making them lose their initial bright shine.
So if carbonated soda is an inseparable part of your day, you better drink it during your meal instead of sipping throughout the day: food can decrease and neutralize the acid.
The refined carbohydrates in crackers convert to sugar very quickly proving a perfect environment for cavity-forming bacteria. Just like bread, crackers also become mushy when chewed and end up lodging in between teeth.
If you eat crackers on a daily basis, you should be a little bit concerned about the amount of consumption. After all, eating them in moderation will hardly create big problems if you brush and floss regularly: good oral care is always the key point!
A surprisingly large amount of people think ice is pretty good for their teeth. After all, it’s just water. But let’s make it clear once and for all: ice helps you get chilled, and it’s definitely not for chewing.
Chewing on such a hard substance can be very harmful to your enamel and can make your teeth very vulnerable to such dental emergencies as a cracked, broken tooth. So please, break the habit of chewing ice if you have one and enjoy your chilled beverages.
You possibly have never thought about it, but popcorn can end up being quite of a reason for a cracked tooth. Besides the popcorn’s sneaky husk is experienced in finding a lodge in between teeth and causing teeth/gum pain.
All of those bad impacts stated above are possible if you don’t take good care of your teeth. In case you brush and floss properly after consuming, popcorn can even be considered as the healthiest snack. But it has to be noted that we’re not talking about the butter-drenched fatty popcorn we get at the movies: air-popped popcorn is the only snack that can be considered even better than fruits and vegetables as stated by the scientists from the University of Scranton.
You probably consider dried fruits as a good snack while watching a movie or reading a book. You would be right if we compare them with potato chips. But some dried fruits - e.g. apricots, raisins, prunes - are quite sticky.
They get stuck in the teeth and their crevices, leaving lots of sugar behind. The only solution against the creation of cavities because of dried fruits is rinsing your mouth right after consuming, then brushing and flossing after.
Granola bars are full of minerals, fiber, and some vitamins, but it’s actually one of the most harmful things for your oral hygiene. They contain A LOT of sugar. Some brands even add more sugar to create their bars’ more crunchiness by making it two-fold and a potential threat for teeth: that amount of sugar can break down the enamel or even crack and break your tooth.
But there is a solution for that too: you can make your own healthy granola bar at home and enjoy all the best in each of the ingredients. Here is a very easy recipe that we recommend trying.
- rolled oats
- chia seeds
- natural peanut butter (you can make it yourself at home with medium-roasted peanuts and a pinch of salt, a small spoon of coconut oil can be a great addition)
- coconut oil (one teaspoon)
- natural honey (one full tablespoon for sweetness)
- ground flaxseed
- dried berries (to your taste)
- a pinch of sea salt (for flavor)
- chocolate chips
In addition to all of that, you can use sliced almonds or other nuts, various dried berries and fruits of your choice. Afterward, you just need to decide the form you want your granola bar to have, freeze it and enjoy the fiber-rich, high protein homemade healthy snack.
Avoiding the mentioned foods will not guarantee you a hygienic mouth. There is so much yet to think about and take care of.
You are what you eat, so, if your oral care is on a ground zero level, and you feel the urge to do something about it, search the web for healthier substitutes of the bad foods above. Keep experimenting and stick to what you really like.
As to more practical actions, to have a starting point, change your dirty toothbrush. Right now. Even if you’ve bought it a week ago. Because your new toothbrush has never been clean and hygienic on the contrary to our Brushettes which come in sterilized packages: our replacement brush heads are double sanitized using industry-first UV and food-grade nitrogen techniques.