Most people know that candy and sodas are bad for your teeth. But did you know that there are several “healthy” foods that are harmful for your smile as well. In fact, the following 7 substances are quite sneaky because they can be good for your body but damaging to your dental health.
Ice is simply frozen water – how could it possibly harm your teeth? While ice won’t directly cause cavities or gum disease, chomping on ice can certainly damage your tooth enamel. The hard surface combined with the cold temperature sets the stage for tooth fractures. Even a hairline crack in your enamel puts the tooth at risk for infection and disease.
A handful of almonds is touted as the perfect healthy snack. Unfortunately, when almonds are eaten whole, they are frequently associated with tooth fractures. Eating almonds too frequently can also strain the jaw muscles. Instead, opt for almond slivers for an easier-to-chew version of this super food.
Citrus fruits are packed with essential vitamins, but they also contain a very high acid content. While tooth enamel is remarkably strong, it erodes and weakens under an acidic pH. Enamel erosion from too much citric fruits can lead to symptoms such as discoloration, sensitivity and cavities!
Whether sweet or dill, pickles are a no go for your smile. Like citrus fruits, pickles are acidic and can damage tooth enamel over time. If you prefer sweet pickles, your smile health is even more at risk with the added sugar.
Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are known for the anti-oxidant powers. Unfortunately, they are also hyper-pigmented and can quickly stain your pearly whites. Be cautious about syrups, sauces and even baked good with these stain-causing berries.
How harmful could a box of raisins be for your teeth? While raisins and other dried fruit are convenient snacks, they can wreak havoc on the health of your teeth. Dried fruit is typically high in sugar, and the sticky consistency allows these sugars to cling to every nook and cranny of your teeth. Keep in mind that cavity-causing bacteria breeds on these sugars!
While many people are already trying to limit white bread to improve their waistline, this processed carbohydrate is equally bad for your teeth. All breads contain sugars, but the old-fashioned white bread gets easily pressed against your teeth and gums when you eat it.
3 Ways to Help
Whether you are worried about stains, sugar or acids on your teeth, you can still enjoy the above-mentioned foods with a little extra precaution. After eating, do one or more of the following to protect your smile:
- Brush and Rinse (always the first line of defense)
- Eat Cheese (a natural acid neutralizer)
- Sip Water (drink water to rinse away lingering food debris)
For more tips on what foods and drinks are healthy or harmful for your teeth, contact Dr. Wayne Suway!