You may not realize just how important your diet is to your oral health. Even if you make regular dentist visits and brush and floss the proper amount, your diet can mess with your smile. Dr. Datta of Ridgetop Dental Group, a dentist in Northern VA, tells of some foods you should avoid or limit if you want to keep your smile healthy.
1. Dried Fruit
You may think that dried fruit is a good alternative for other sweet snacks. And fruit is usually a good option. However, dried fruit is concentrated with sugar and may end up having as much as is in that candy or other snack you avoided.
The texture of dried fruit is also a problem. Many of them are extremely chewy and sticky. This makes the fruit likely to get stuck in the crevices on top of your molars and in between your teeth. Having a sugary substance stuck there attracts harmful oral bacteria to consume it. These bacteria then give off an acidic byproduct that can eat through your tooth enamel, leading to cavities and other problems.
2. Hard Candy
Another common alternative for chewy candy is hard candy. While it may seem better, hard candy slowly and constantly releases sugar into your mouth. Though the candy may not get stuck in your teeth, the bacteria have the opportunity to feed off of this sugar for a long time.
Hard candy can also set you up for a dental emergency. If you bite down on it before it’s very worn down, it can break, crack, or chip your teeth. Depending on how severe it is, you may need to immediately get it taken care of. Large breaks or chips can be extremely painful and expose the tooth pulp and nerves.
3. Citrus Fruits
While fresh fruits are one of the best options for your diet, you’ll want to limit your consumption of citrus. Citrus fruits are very acidic, wearing away at the enamel on your teeth. This makes your teeth softer and weaker. In fact, after consuming citrus, you shouldn’t brush your teeth for 30 minutes as you may damage the enamel while it’s weakened.
Even having lemon in your water introduces extra acid into your mouth. If you’re going to eat citrus fruits, make sure you limit it. Drink regular water after consuming citrus to rinse your mouth out.
While water is good for you, you should stick to it in its liquid form. Chewing on ice long term increases wear and tear on your teeth. Like with hard candy, you can also bite down on a piece and end up breaking your tooth.
5. Chips and Crackers
While you may think they’re safe, chips and crackers both break down into sugars as you choose them. They’re starch and carbohydrates. Chips tend to get stuck in between your teeth, while crackers turn into a kind of paste that can coat them. This leads to tooth decay being likely in the places that they’re resting.
Your Dentist in Northern Virginia
Especially while you’re unable to visit the dentist due to isolation, it’s important to keep a close eye on your diet. We’re here to check your oral health when this crisis is over. Call us or schedule an appointment online for the future. Hopefully, we’ll see you back in our office soon!