Most of us know that copious quantities of sugar are bad for our teeth, but sugary substances aren’t the only bad foods for teeth. If you want to keep your pearly whites looking their best there are actually a number of different foods to avoid to keep your teeth healthy. Some of them might surprise you!
- Red wine. Fond of a vino or two? Unfortunately alcohol can dry out your mouth, leading to a decrease in saliva production and an increase in bacteria. Red wine in particular can also stain teeth and discolour them so it’s best avoided if you want to keep your smile flawless.
- Coffee. You might think avoiding sugar in your coffee will protect your teeth, but coffee can stain your teeth if you drink it too frequently. As well as coffee stains, the acids in coffee can erode your tooth enamel, leading to weakened teeth and more susceptibility to cavities.
- Sports drinks. While sports drinks are often associated with health and fitness, in reality they are loaded with sugar. To protect your teeth, opt for a low sugar or sugar free version or just stick to water.
- Bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Believe it or not, starches can be just as bad for your teeth as lollies. Simple carbohydrates like pasta and bread made from white flour break down into simple sugars that can stick to your teeth and feed bacteria.
- Ice. Crunching down on anything hard can damage your teeth, especially if they are already weakened by root canals or fillings. If you’re keen to avoid an expensive trip to the dentist, it’s a good idea to steer clear of anything hard like ice, unpopped popcorn or olive pips.
- Citrus fruit. While they might have a number of health benefits, citrus fruits are very acidic and acidic foods and drinks can make your teeth more prone to decay. For example, lemon juice contains acid, which irritates gums and softens tooth enamel. Low acidity fruits like apples, berries and peaches are a good substitute and won’t damage your teeth in the same way as citrus fruit.
- Dried fruit. It may sound healthy but dried fruit is full of sugar and it’s also sticky so it stays in close contact with teeth for a prolonged period of time. This is a double whammy that feeds harmful bacteria on your teeth for longer, increasing the likelihood of damage.
While it’s not realistic for most of us to avoid everything that has the potential to cause damage to teeth, a routine of regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist every six months can go a long way to preventing any long term problems.