The Five Most Damaging Foods For Your Teeth

We may often wonder how our ancestors coped without the benefits of modern dental surgery and regular oral hygiene regimes. The truth of the matter is that although they lived much shorter lives than we do, many of the early human remains that have been uncovered by archaeologists tend to come complete with most of their teeth. While this may be simply because people died before their teeth had a chance to decay, it is far more likely that diet played a major role in the story.

Tooth decay and the modern diet

It may come as a surprise that it isn’t so much the foods we eat that are corrosive to our tooth enamel, rather it is the acid they produce when mixing sugar with bacteria already present in the mouth. The resultant acid damages the enamel and that, in turn, opens up the tooth to decay. Saliva is the body’s natural defence used to dilute the acid effect. Unfortunately, it ends up fighting a losing battle in the presence of the huge amounts of acid that some foods produce in the mouth. In the following article, we look at what are most likely the 5 most damaging foods for your teeth.

  1. Hard candy

Coming in right at the top of the list are hard candies or sweets including cough sweets, mints, and other varieties of “boiled sweets”. The way that we hold these in the mouth whilst sucking on them also has much to do with their effect. Sugar-free versions of these are still not ideal but they are far less damaging to the tooth enamel.

  1. Sticky candy (sweets) and fruit

It is a little short of ironic that the better it tastes the more damaging it is likely to be to your teeth. Things like wine gums, gummy bears, and those delicious chewy toffee candies stick to your teeth and that inhibits the process by which your saliva works to neutralise the corrosive acids. The really surprising news is that even the natural sugars in fresh fruit will work with the oral bacteria to produce those tooth decaying acids.

  1. Energy and sports drinks

All kinds of sweet sticky drinks are obviously loaded with sugar and that means more of it to convert those oral bacteria into that corrosive and damaging acid. The further downside of energy and sports drinks is that by their very “sticky” nature they also stick to the teeth for longer and prevent the saliva from doing its job too.

  1. Citrus fruits

It is quite understandable that once people have established the connection between sweet foods and drink with enamel damage, they may be tempted to think that the more sour or citrus fruits are less likely to be a problem. That is, unfortunately, dead wrong because things such as lemons and other citrus fruits are also loaded with those nasty sugars.

  1. Fruit juices and soda pops

Sorry, but it looks like sugar is the culprit once again even for those sweet beverages that we all love so much. There is some good news, however, if you really must have your regular sugar rush. These types of drinks tend to do damage in relation to the amount of time they spend in the mouth and therefore, during the time they are in contact with the teeth. By rinsing with after after consumption and ensuring that they don’t spend too long in your mouth, you may be able to get away with a fruit juice or soda pop so long as it is in moderation.

If you want to know more about how you can help your own oral hygiene and the condition of your teeth contact the dedicated dental team at Signal Hill Dental Centre right now!