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Although this one’s a no-brainer, most people don’t know that sugar triggers the mouth to become more acidic which breaks down your tooth’s enamel (and enamel doesn’t grow back!). When the enamel is weakened by candy, chocolate and sticky snacks, your teeth become susceptible to cavities. If you can’t go without your sweets, stick to dark chocolate instead – it’s high in antioxidants and lower in sugar content.
Most of us love adding lemon, lime and oranges to our drinks or putting lots of vinegar in our salad dressings but don’t realize the acid wears away the enamel of the tooth and causes stains. The high pH levels in these foods poses a significant danger to the wear of your teeth – try to stick to only a few acidic foods with a lower pH such as broccoli, mangos or celery.
For some people, a glass of wine after a long day is the perfect addition to their dinner – and popular medical shows and doctors are now encouraging a glass of red wine a day for its heart and health benefits. However, red and white wines have a highly acidic and are known to erode the enamel, attack the calcium on your teeth, and cause stains. According to certain research projects, a rich red wine like Rioja or Pinot Noir is the most gentle on the teeth – and be sure to have this with your meal, wait 30 minutes and then brush your teeth for preventative measures.
It’s been said that a great cup of coffee or tea isn’t terrible for you but the sweetener is where the problem lies. And another fact to beware of: the darker the drink, the darker the stains on your teeth. And we’re not even going to get started on energy drinks. Stick to a light herbal tea or black coffee to keep the wear of your teeth down to a minimum – just make sure to brush right after to fight the stains!
There’s nothing quite like a cold drink poured over ice – but make sure the ice stays in the glass! Chewing ice leaves your teeth vulnerable to wear, damage and chipping.
Pop and soda are a whole category on their own when it comes to damaging your teeth. Tooth erosion, cavities and staining are only some of the main issues when it comes to pop drinking – and diet soda is a contributor as well! If you don’t believe us, look up the Coca Cola experiment where a human tooth is dissolved overnight. Stick to water and your teeth and health will thank you for it!
There’s nothing quite like a nice treat of taffy, caramel, or dried fruit – but beware, these are your mouth’s worst enemy. Sticky foods tend to stick to the teeth for prolonged time periods compared to other foods – and this leads to the breakdown of your teeth and inflammation of the gums.
We all love crunchy potato chips so this is a tough one to give up! Unfortunately, this classic snack is filled with starch which tends to get trapped in between teeth and leads to a breeding ground for cavities. If you choose to indulge in this snack, be sure to brush and floss right after to get rid of the food particles and plaque build-up.
Alcohol such as beer, spirits, mixed drinks, and malt beverages that is consumed excessively causes dehydration and dry mouth. Saliva flow is reduced over time and most do not know that this leads to tooth decay and oral infections such as gum disease. Heavy alcohol use is also linked to increased risk of mouth cancer.
Many companies endorse sports drinks as healthy but when sugar is the top ingredient, this is often not the case. Check the labels to find sugar content and ingredients before purchasing – water is always the best form of hydration after physical activities and your teeth will thank you for it!
This movie theatre favourite is often a go-to snack but most don’t know it can damage your teeth and gums. The kernel shells often get lodged in between teeth and this can cause discomfort and infection. Much like potato chips, the starch in popcorn stays in teeth and gums and can foster bacterial growth. Those with braces are strictly prohibited from indulging in this snack. It’s also helpful to be warned that biting on half-popped or full kernels can damage, chip, and break teeth.
This childhood classic has been under scrutiny in the dental health world – mostly for the dangerous trio (pb + j + bread) creating a bacterial, enamel-eroding feeding frenzy in your mouth. If you’ve ever had peanut butter and jam stuck to the roof of your mouth, imagine what it’s doing to your teeth. If you’re going to indulge, be sure to brush and floss after this snack.