5 Foods That Destroy Your Teeth

The dentists’ chair can be a scary place. For children, it is fear of the unknown, surrounded by scary looking tools. For adults, it can be knowing what is to come, and the bill that follows!

Keeping our teeth in great condition and looking fantastic means paying attention to how we brush and floss, and to what we eat and drink. There are some food and drink choices we make that impact negatively on our teeth – and some of them may surprise you…

Calgary Dentist Tips#1 Hard candy

We all know that high-sugar sweets and candy have a negative impact on teeth. Giving up candy is one thing but there are still some habits that we keep that negatively impact on our oral health.

Mint is great after a meal as it is nature’s way of helping us digest food and deodorize our breath. But popping a mint, cough drop or a hard candy after every meal, leads to what is known as the demineralization effect.

The cough drop or mint is kept in one spot in the mouth for a long period, contributing to a concentrated build-up of acid.

If this is a habit of yours, consider a sugar-free option.

#2 Sticky sweets or fruits

Chewy toffees, chocolate or jelly-like candies are notorious for making our teeth feel less than spectacular. Unfortunately, as the sticky sugary substance sticks to your teeth, it causes calcium loss, with regular eating of sticky sweets leading to problems.

Although you may think that dried fruits, such as dried apricots, currants and raisins, are a healthier alternative, they can unfortunately have the same affect to.

If you do eat sticky fruits or candy, clean your teeth afterwards.

#3 Sports and energy drinks

Although these products have been around for some time, their recent popularity has given cause for concern in many ways.

Not only are these drinks acidic, they also tend to be a thicker, viscous liquid that sticks to the teeth for longer periods.

The solution? Refuel and rehydrate with plain water.

Calgary Dentist Tips#4 Citrus fruits

In your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle and diet, you have probably increased your intake of fruit.

Slices of lemon in your water, squeezing fresh lemon on fish, freshly-squeezed orange juice for breakfast along with grapefruit, and lime in your burger salsa all sound great but citrus fruits are acidic.

Over doing it on acidic fruits leads to the enamel on your teeth being stripped away and can lead to dental problems further down the line.

Limit your intake of citrus fruits and clean your teeth afterwards to neutralize the acid.

#5 Soda and fruit juices

Sugar is not good for teeth but there are many foods and drinks we consume that contain ‘hidden’ sugar.

When faced with a chiller of sodas and juices, you probably choose the fruit drink thinking that it is healthier and more beneficial to your health than soda.

Over indulging on high sugar sodas and fruit juices is leads to too much acid in the mouth that your saliva cannot neutralize. This causes problems in the long term, such as cavities.

Again, it is best to drink plain water but if you do want a soda or fruit juice from time to time, use a straw to keep as much of the sugary or acidic fluid from your teeth as possible.

A Question of Balance

Bacteria that normally exists in the mouth converts the sugars in drinks and foods into acid. It is this acid that dissolves the calcium in the enamel on your teeth. As this process continues, enough tooth structure is lost, causing a hole.

Our saliva is our main defense. It neutralizes acid and is full of calcium and phosphates. Thus, what you eat and drink is a balancing act.

You need foods that support your saliva as it neutralizes acids and that means cutting down on the frequency of these five foods and drinks, and not allowing residue to linger on the teeth.

And this means brushing your teeth twice a day (and in-between if necessary) and flossing daily too.